Plane Crashes at Nevada Air Show in ‘Mass Casualty’ Situation

Posted September 16th, 2011 at 9:10 pm (UTC-5)
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A small plane has crashed at an air show in Nevada, and there are reports that at least 60 people have been injured, 25 critically. Authorities say there likely are fatalities in what they describe as a “mass casualty” situation.

The plane crashed Friday near or into the grandstand during the National Championship Air Races in the Reno area. Video taken at the scene and posted on the Internet showed the plane heading nose-down, and spectators could be heard gasping as they witnessed the accident.

The status of the pilot was not known, but reports say he issued a “Mayday” before the plane went down. News media have identified him as 80-year-old Jimmy Leeward. Authorities say he was flying a P-51 Mustang called “Galloping Ghost.” P-51 Mustangs are fighter planes used during World War Two.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene.