Fatalities confirmed in vintage military plane crash, large fire at Bradley Airport


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Fatalities have been confirmed after a vintage military plane crashed and caught fire at Bradley Airport on Wednesday morning.

Officials have confirmed that at around 9:54 a.m. a B-17 historical World War II aircraft, that was part of the Wings of Freedom tour, stuck a de-icing facility and maintenance center.

There were 10 passengers, 2 crew members, 1 attendant and 1 maintenance worker involved, who were taken to Bridgeport Hospital, Hartford Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.

No one has been identified at this time.

Life Star responded to the scene and Hartford Hospital says that they received 6 patients from the plane crash.

The FBI, FAA, Homeland Security, Connecticut State Police and the NTSB are all responding to scene to investigate. The NTSB will also investigate the black box recorder.

Officials say that the tower was advised that there was an issue with the aircraft and that the plane attempted to circle around.

News 8 spoke with a construction worker at Bradley Airport who saw the scene unfold. He told News 8 that a military plane was taking off and didn’t have enough power. The plane tried to land, but hit the ground, impacting the fuel farm/fuel tank.

(Photo: Stephanie Simoni)

The historical plane had arrived on Tuesday and was to be there until Thursday. It was open to the public who could pay for rides as donations to the foundation.

Bradley Airport is currently closed but is opening one runway at 1:30 p.m. The runway where the accident occurred will remain closed until the investigation is complete.

Travelers are urged to contact their airlines as far as flight status goes, as it is at their discretion.

ABC News has obtained a statement from the FAA that reads:

“A vintage Boeing B-17 crashed at the end of Runway 6 while attempting to land at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., at 10 a.m. It is a civilian registered aircraft, not flown by the military. Local officials will release information about the people aboard. We will update this statement when we get new information.”


The Collings Foundation, who is part of the Wings of Freedom Tour, also released the following statement on the crash:

“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.

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. ”

Governor Ned Lamont tweeted about the incident, writing in part that it’s “such an unfortunate situation with an historic aircraft. Our prayers are with everyone who was on board.”

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center released this statement on the plane crash:

“We received a mass casualty alert following the plane crash that took place near Bradley International Airport this morning.  As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Saint Francis Hospital department has deployed all the necessary preparations in order to be ready to receive any number of patients.”  


U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also released a statement:

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims. They and the public deserve to know the facts and causes of this tragic crash. I am calling for an immediate National Transportation Safety Board investigation so we can get to the bottom of what happened and prevent future tragedies. The NTSB should be on the scene as soon as possible, with assistance from other agencies like the FAA.”

Check back to WTNH.com for updates.

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