Shoreham air crash: First victims named – BBC News

Matt Jones

Matt Jones, a Worthing United footballer, was among the fatalities

The first victims have been named after a vintage jet crashed into traffic while performing during Shoreham Airshow, killing seven people.

The families of Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone, 23, and Matt Jones, 24, confirmed the deaths.

Investigators are still combing the crash site after the jet failed to complete a loop-the-loop at the event in West Sussex on Saturday.

The pilot, named locally as Andy Hill, is fighting for his life in hospital.

Footballer Matthew Grimstone was on his way to a Worthing United game

In a tribute, Sue and Phil Grimstone said: “The family are in total shock at losing our dearest son Matthew so tragically at 23 years old.

“He was the kindest person you could ever meet, with a great wit.

“In his 23 years, we can honestly say he never lost his temper.”

Speaking on Facebook, Mr Jones’ sister Becky said: “We are devastated to say Matt Jones was one of the fatalities.”

A further 14 people were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital, when the jet crashed on the A27 at 13:20 BST.

The pilot has been named locally as Andy Hill

Specialist recovery teams have begun to remove bodies from the scene with “every possibility that other victims will be found” during the process, Sussex Police said.

The force said it received about 40 calls from people concerned their relatives may have died or been injured in the crash.

Eyewitness Archie Tipple was photographing the plane as it fell below roof top level

The plane crashed at about 13:20 BST on Saturday

The Hawker Hunter is believed to have crashed after attempting a loop

Ch Supt Tony Blaker said: “Our priorities now lie with supporting those who have been affected.”

He said a significant investigation would now take place by police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and was likely to last several days.

The A27 will remain shut in the meantime.

“Obviously, people do need to travel and will be returning to work on Monday, but I would ask the further away you are able to divert around Shoreham the better,” Ch Supt Blaker added.

The A27 was closed in both directions

The 1950s Hawker Hunter jet crashed into several cars on a nearby road causing a large fireball

Roger Smith, a former air accident investigator, told BBC Radio 5 live the probe into the incident would involve looking at “absolutely everything”.

Video footage of the show will allow experts to “see exactly what’s happening with the aircraft”, he said.

Earlier, a minute’s silence was held in the West Sussex seaside town.

At St Mary de Haura Church, the Reverend Canon Paul Rampton said people in Shoreham would never forget the “ominous black clouds that must have been visible from miles around”.

He said people were only just beginning to know the full extent of what happened.

“There are no easy answers when terrible things happen,” he added.


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