At least seven people were killed and six injured after a Second World War-era plane crashed on Wednesday morning while making an emergency landing at Bradley International Airport, north of Hartford, Connecticut.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress contacted the air traffic control tower to report a problem in the engine five minutes after taking off from the airport in the morning as part of an aircraft display, said National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy.
During the emergency landing, the plane struck stanchions near the runway and careened across a grassy area and a taxiway before striking a de-icing facility, Hommendy was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The aircraft was carrying 10 passengers and three crew members. Officials stated that the injuries range from critical to minor. Connecticut Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella said among the injured is a National Guardsman who was abroad the plane, an airport worker and a responding firefighter.
While the names of the deceased have not been released yet, the flight was part of a "Wings of Freedom" aircraft display by a group of aviation enthusiasts and members of a nonprofit Collings Foundation. The organisation aims to preserve and educate the public about America's aviation history.
"The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known," a statement by Collings Foundation said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight, and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley," it added.
While the aircraft was one the only operating among the 13,000 B-17 bombers produced during the Second World War, it was reportedly involved in a crash on August 1987.
During an air-show in Pennsylvania, the plane had veered off from the runway and "roared down a 100-foot ravine to a thundering stop" according to the Aviation geek Club. No casualties were reported in the accident and the aircraft was repaired and continued to be featured in airshows.
"There's a real need for scrutiny and oversight if these planes are going to continue flying," US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut was quoted as saying.