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7 dead, 6 injured in WWII vintage World War II airplane crash at Hartford airport

A Connecticut state official said seven people died in the crash of a World War II airplane during an aborted takeoff from an airport in Hartford Wednesday.
Public safety Commissioner James Rovella said the six others who were on the airplane suffered injuries ranging from minor to critical. One person on the ground also was injured.
The names of the victims have not been released.
The B-17 – also known as a Flying Fortress – crashed and burned Wednesday morning while attempting to land back at Bradley International Airport.
“We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport,” airport spokeswoman Alisa Sisic said in a statement to USA TODAY, noting Wednesday morning that a fire and rescue operation was underway.
The FAA said via Twitter that a vintage Boeing B-17 crashed at the end of Runway 6 while attempting to land at 10 a.m. local time.
The aircraft was not gaining altitude and attempted to return to the runway before losing control during touchdown, authorities said in the press conference. The plane struck tanks holding deicing fluid and a maintenance facility.
Rebecca Stewart, director of news service at Hartford HealthCare told USA TODAY that Hartford Hospital received six patients, one of whom arrived via helicopter.
Two of those patients were transported to the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital, which is about 50 miles away from Hartford Hospital, Jonathan Gates, chief of trauma at the hospital, told USA TODAY.
The Collings Foundation is an educational group that brought its “Wings of Freedom” vintage aircraft display to Bradley this week.
The vintage bomber – one of the most celebrated allied planes of World War II – was used to take history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts on short flights, during which they could get up and walk around the loud and windy interior.
The B-17 was one of only 18 in the nation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said during the press conference.
In recordings of audio transmissions, the pilot told an air traffic controller that he needed to return to the airport and land immediately. Asked why, he said: “Number four engine, we’d like to return and blow it out.”
Brian Hamer, of Norton, Massachusetts, said he was less than a mile away when he saw a B-17, “which you don’t normally see,” fly directly overhead, trying to gain altitude but not succeeding.
One of the engines began to sputter, and smoke came out the back, Hamer said. The plane made a wide turn and headed back toward the airport, he said.
“Then we heard all the rumbling and the thunder, and all the smoke comes up, and we kind of figured it wasn’t good,” Hamer said.

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