WWII B-17 plane crashes, erupts into flames at Bradley Airport

WWII B-17 plane crashes, erupts into flames at Bradley Airport

A vintage World War II plane crashed and erupted into flames on Wednesday morning after it slid off a runway at Bradley International Airport, just outside of Hartford, Connecticut, authorities said.

“We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport,” according to an airport statement.

At least six victims of the crash were taken to Hartford Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available,” the Bradley airport statement said.

A Boeing B-17 used by the U.S. Air Force during World War II.Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The FAA said the craft was a Boeing B-17 and it went down at the end of Runway 6 at about 10 a.m. and slid off.

Bradley, the second-largest in New England, was closed and the FAA put in a ground stop for all flights heading towards the airport.

Several flights headed for Bradley were diverted to T.F. Green International Airport outside of Providence, Rhode Island, officials said.

The International Association of Fire Fighters Local S15, the union representing nearby first responders, tweeted a picture of black smoke hovering over the airport with the message: “Our crews are operating at an aircraft crash at Bradley airport.”

The airport — in Windsor Locks, about 15 miles north of Hartford is hosting a show of vintage World War II craft this week.

Many planes in the “Wings of Freedom” show are owned by Collings Foundation. Bradley Airport confirmed the B-17 that went down Wednesday is owned by that non-profit organization from Stow, Massachusetts.

“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 foundation said in a statement.

“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.”

The Boeing B-17 was once dubbed the “Flying Fortress” and played a key role for Allied forces in Europe.

This is a developing story, please check back here for updates.

Elisha Fieldstadt contributed.

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