Shoreham air disaster pilot moved to specialist hospital

Shoreham Airshow crash

The pilot of the Shoreham air crash jet has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment, an NHS trust spokesman has confirmed.

Andrew Hill was left fighting for his life after the vintage Hawker Hunter he was flying plummeted on to the A27 below, killing at least 11 people.

The busy road has been closed since the crash on Saturday, and Susses Police have announced that it is due to reopen on Bank Holiday Monday.

Mr Hill had been placed in a medically induced coma at the Royal Sussex County Hospital following the incident, but has now been moved to an undisclosed location.

A spokesman for the Brighton and Hove NHS Foundation Trust said: "He (Mr Hill) is in a critical but stable condition, but has been moved to an unnamed specialist hospital."

It is believed the jet's seats were in place when it was found, suggesting that Mr Hill may not have ejected before impact.

The jet is understood to have not been carrying a black box flight recorder.

Video footage shows the plane failing to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt before crashing to the ground and exploding into a fireball as it ploughed into cars on the busy road below.

West Sussex County Council's senior coroner Penny Schofield said the formal identification of the victims has begun.

But the plane crashed with such force that specialists - including forensic archaeologists, anthropologists, odontologists and pathologists - are having to examine the DNA, teeth and human remains to discover who was killed in the disaster.

Ms Schofield said: "Recovery of all the remains from the scene is almost complete due to the extremely hard work and dedication of police teams and archaeologists, who have been working in extremely difficult conditions."

"We will now begin the formal process of identifying all the victims of this horrific tragedy.

"Recovering all the remains has been a very slow and painstaking operation, but it has been necessary to ensure we establish, without doubt, individual positive identifications."

Ms Schofield has met with the families to explain the process and, once identification is complete then she will open inquests into these deaths.

The remains of the plane have been sent to Farnborough, Hampshire, where Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigators will seek to find out what caused the crash. An interim report is due in the next few days.

Placing flowers near the site of crash, Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York vowed to get answers for all those who had lost loved ones in the tragedy.

He said: "First and foremost, on behalf of Sussex Police, I offer my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this awful, tragic incident which has had a significant impact on communities across Sussex.

"It will always live in the memories of this community and some people will bear the scars for a very long time to come."

He added: "We are determined that we will find answers for families who have lost their loved ones, we have 24 dedicated family liaison officers helping families and we are working in support of the coroner to allow her to carry out her inquests.

"The reaction from local people has been really heart-warming. I am incredibly impressed with how the community has responded and I must pay tribute to our own staff and those of the other emergency services and agencies who have responded to what is a dreadful scene."

Mr York asked those wanting to pay their respects to visit the Shoreham Toll Bridge where tributes are already being laid.

Referring to the reopening of the road, he said that it will reopen on Monday after three days of repairs, but will be reduced to a single lane each way - causing some delays.

There will not be any access from the A27 to Lancing College and the airport for some time.