Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut, closed Wednesday morning following the crash of a privately owned vintage aircraft.
“There are fatalities, of which I will not tell you the number yet because during this investigation, it is far too early to discuss,” said James Rovella, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, during a press conference.
Due to the nature of the crash and resulting fire, the victims are very difficult to identify, Rovella said.
“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. “We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available.”
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.
There were 13 people on the plane, 10 passengers and three crew members. One person, who worked at the airport, was also on the ground, Rovella said in the press conference.
The Collings Foundation is an educational group that brought its “Wings of Freedom” vintage aircraft display to Bradley this week.
The B-17 was one of only 18 in the nation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said during the press conference.
The airport was scheduled to reopen at 1:30 p.m. EDT, authorities announced during the press conference. They planned to reopen one runway and to keep the runway where the crash occurred closed.
At 1 p.m. EDT, Twitter user @MarioBooneTV shared a photo of Terminal A being reopened by TSA.
FlightAware is showing 10 flight cancellations and 16 flight delays on flights headed to or from Hartford.
Bradley is relatively small but is served by most major airlines.
American Airlines has 24 daily departures from Bradley. Two flights that were enroute to Hartford this morning were diverted to nearby airports, spokesman Ross Feinstein said.
Southwest Airlines has 13 daily departures from Bradley. Six took off before the incident, and the airline has canceled the remaining seven flights for today, spokesman Brad Hawkins said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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