The number of victims in Saturday’s Shoreham Airshow crash when a Hawker Hunter jet ploughed into the A27 in West Sussex and exploded in a huge fireball now stands at 11, police say.
Among them are Matt Jones, a personal trainer, and Worthing Utd footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt.
Mr Grimstone, 23, the first-team goalkeeper, and Mr Schilt, also 23 and a “tenacious midfielder”, were on their way to play a home game against Loxwood FC at 3pm when they were caught up in the crash.
Matthew Grimstone, aged 23, a goalkeeper, died in the crash.
In an emotional tribute, Mr Grimstone’s parents Sue and Phil and brothers David and Paul called him the “kindest person you could ever meet”.
Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said police could not yet formally identify any of those who had died.
Mr Barry said: “This has been an enormously traumatic incident and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected, from those who have suffered bereavement to those in the local community who are deeply shocked.”
He added: “Sadly, as a result of our initial work at the site, which has continued overnight, and inquiries following calls to the emergency services from worried families and friends, we have now identified 11 people who we are treating as highly likely to have died in this tragedy.” Mr Barry also warned that the death toll could rise further still.
He said: “The scene itself is incredibly large. A lot of specially-trained officers are sifting, as we speak, so we do need to keep an open mind but from what we have seen at this stage it is possible that we will find more fatalities.”
Investigators are keeping “an open mind” about who has been involved in the crash as they continue to receive calls from worried friends and relatives.
The deadly plane crash at the Shoreham Airshow was an event as likely to happen as being struck by lightning, according to an aviation expert.
Former pilot and RAF flying instructor David Learmount told Sky News that such crashes are extremely rare and “horrifically unlikely”.
The pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet that crashed at Shoreham is a skilled aerobatic flyer who is a regular at air shows up and down the country.
Andy Hill flies for British Airways and is a highly skilled former RAF instructor with more than 12,000 hours of flying experience.
The 51-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital after his plane slammed into the A27 in West Sussex, ploughing through cars on the busy road as it burst into a huge fireball.
One dead in swiss air show collision
died when two small planes collided in the air and crashed at an airshow in northern Switzerland.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved