Two planes crashed in fiery mid-air collision while flying in a Dallas air show on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Dallas City Fire and Rescue.
The crash occurred around 1:20 p.m., when the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, according to information provided by the FAA.
It is unknown how many people were on the aircrafts, the FAA said.
Representatives for Dallas City Hall, the airport and the air show did not immediately respond to inquiries from NBC News.
Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown.
Live TV news footage from the scene showed people setting up orange cones around the crumpled wreckage of the bomber, which was in a grassy area.
Videos of the scene showing the aftermath, captured by an onlooker, shows smoke and flames billowing above the crash site.
Photos from the scene, including one shared by NBC affiliate KXAS of Dallas—Fort Worth, show a cloud of smoke over the crash site where the planes landed after colliding in the air.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.
“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”
The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing.
Several videos posted on Twitter showed the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground and setting off a large ball of fire and smoke.
“It was really horrific to see,” Aubrey Anne Young, 37, of Leander, Texas, who saw the crash. Her children were inside the hangar with their father when it occurred. “I’m still trying to make sense of it.”
A woman next to Young can be heard crying and screaming hysterically on a video that Young uploaded to her Facebook page.
Air show safety — particularly with older military aircraft — has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.
Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircrafts.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident, according to the FAA, which said that neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.