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Tara Trovato, spokeswoman for the Reno National Championship Air Races, confirms an aircraft crashed into the box seats at the races. She said it did not go into the grandstands.
DEVELOPING: RENO, Nev. -- An airplane crashed Friday at an air race here, causing what one event official described as a "mass-casualty situation," as local media reports dozens injured.
The plane reportedly went into a nosedive and crash on or near the stands, and video of the crash showed a horrific scene of bodies and wreckage at the front of the stands.
Mike Draper, a spokesman for the air races, told The Associated Press that Jimmy Leeward was the pilot of the P-51 Mustang that crashed into the box seat area at the front of the grandstand about 4:30 p.m.
He said he did not have any information on the number of injured, but FoxReno.com cited an unnamed source putting the death toll at two so far, with about 30 people injured. KOLO, citing fire department sources, reported as many as 60 people were injured, including about 30 in critical condition.
The National Championship Air Races draws thousands of people every year in September to watch various military and civilian planes race.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Witnesses to today’s crash at the Reno National Championship Air Races are describing a horrific scene, with multiple fatalities and body parts strewn across the tarmac at Reno-Stead Airport.
“It’s just like a massacre. It’s like a bomb went off,” said Dr. Gerald Lent of Reno, who witnessed the crash. “There are people lying all over the runway.”
The only thing the Korean War veteran could compare the scene to was combat.
“One guy was cut in half. There’s blood everywhere,” Lent said. “There’s arms and legs. One guy just said ‘hey, there’s another foot over here.”