Bradley International Airport is closed after a WWII aircraft crashed into a building. The airport issued a statement via Twitter just before 10.30am.
"We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport. We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available."
Hartford Hospital confirmed that it has received five patients from the crash. The hospital did not provide any information on their condition.
The hospital issued a number for families of anyone who may have been involved in the crash, to gather more information about their loved one. That number is 860 972 9166.
St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, which is a Level 1 trauma center, also said it has deployed the necessary preparations to receive casualties from the crash.
State police say that they were called to the airport around 10 a.m. Multiple fire crews are also at the scene. Numerous pictures from the site show a large plume of smoke rising from the crash site.
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) October 2, 2019
The FAA confirmed that the crash happened at the end of Runway 6, while the aircraft was attempting to land. The agency also said the aircraft is civilian registered and not flown by the military.
Brian Hamer was standing about a mile away from this site just after 10 a.m. He told Connecticut Public Radio he saw a plane — what he thought was a B17 — with an engine that began to sputter.
“He just kind of made a u-turn back to the airport and then we hoped he was okay," said Hamer. "He never really climbed -- he just turned and made it back to the airport. And then we heard the big rumble and then a big cloud of smoke -- black smoke -- went up.”
Five vintage aircraft were at the airport as part of the Wings of Freedom tour, organized by the Collings Foundation. The exhibit was open to the public, and the foundation offered public flights in the planes.
"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."
Governor Ned Lamont is expected to speak at a press conference at Bradley International Airport shortly. This morning he tweeted "our prayers are with everyone who was on board."
Several of our state agencies, including @CT_STATE_POLICE and @CTDEEPNews, remain on scene responding to the accident at @Bradley_Airport. Such an unfortunate situation with an historic aircraft. Our prayers are with everyone who was on board. https://t.co/Zzn354CC6F
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) October 2, 2019
Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted that he'll be looking for a full federal investigation of the crash as soon as possible.
"Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victims," he sald "They & the public deserve to know the facts & causes of this tragic crash. I’m calling for an immediate National Transportation Safety Board investigation so we can get to the bottom of what happened & prevent future tragedies. The NTSB should be on the scene as soon as possible, with assistance from other agencies like the FAA. Vintage planes must be properly maintained & flown— & the NTSB must tell us whether this tragedy could have been prevented."
A video produced by the Collings Foundation appears to show the same plane that was involved in this morning's crash.
Additional reporting by Frankie Graziano
This post will be updated