US Airshow Crash Death Toll Rises to 9

Posted September 17th, 2011 at 7:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The death toll from Friday's plane crash at an airshow in Nevada has risen to nine. And there is now word of another airshow crash — this time in the state of West Virginia, which has claimed one life..

Officials announced the higher toll Saturday after recovering the remains of 7 more victims from the tarmac at the National Championship Air Races site outside Reno, Nevada.

The World War Two vintage P-51 Mustang crashed into an area of seats near a grandstand. Video taken at the scene showed the plane heading nose-down into the ground.

The pilot, who was among those killed, had issued a “Mayday” before the plane went down. He has been identified as 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, an air racer and movie stunt pilot.

More than 50 people were injured — some critically. Federal aviation officials are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.

Authorities in West Virginia said the pilot of another vintage plane has died after it crashed and burst into flames at an air show Saturday. No spectators were reported injured in that crash.