Seven people killed as Second World War B-17 bomber crashes shortly after take-off

In this aerial image taken from video, emergency crews respond to where a World War II-era bomber B-17 plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.  (WFXT Boston 25 News via AP)

A Second World War-era B-17 bomber that crashed after encountering mechanical trouble on take-off has resulted in the deaths of seven people.

The four-engine, propeller-driven plane struggled to get into the air and crashed into a maintenance shed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut as the pilots circled back for a landing, according to officials and witnesses.

It was carrying 10 passengers and three crew members, authorities said.

Connecticut Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella said that some of those on board were burned and "the victims are very difficult to identify".

He also warned that the death toll could rise.

A fire-and-rescue operation is underway where World War II-era bomber plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. A fire with black smoke rose from near the airport as emergency crews responded. The airport said in a message on Twitter that it has closed. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A fire-and-rescue operation is underway where World War II-era bomber plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. A fire with black smoke rose from near the airport as emergency crews responded. The airport said in a message on Twitter that it has closed. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Some of the survivors of the crash were critically injured, while one person on the ground was also hurt.

Authorities said a firefighter involved in the response suffered a minor injury.

Mr Rovella said some lives were likely saved by the efforts of people including a person who raced to help the victims and people on the plane who helped others to escape the fire by opening a hatch.

"You're going to hear about some heroic efforts from some of the individuals that were in and around that plane," he said.

The retired, civilian-registered plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its Wings of Freedom vintage aircraft display to the airport this week, officials said.

Reacting to the crash, Governor Ned Lamont said: "Right now my heart really goes out to the families who are waiting. And we are going to give them the best information we can as soon as we can in an honest way."

In this Aug. 29, 1987 photo, workers use a cane to lift a World War II-era B-17 plane from its crash site at the Beaver County Airport, in Beaver County, Pa. The same four-engine, propeller-driven B-17 bomber plane with more than a dozen people aboard crashed and burned at the Hartford County Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., after encountering mechanical trouble on takeoff Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, killing multiple people. (Susie Post/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

The plane was a few minutes into the flight when pilots reported a problem and said it was not gaining altitude. It lost control upon touching down and struck the shed.

Only a few of the roaring Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses are still airworthy.

The Collings Foundation said that the same plane in Wednesday's accident also crashed in 1987 at an air show near Pittsburgh, when it was hit by a severe crosswind as it touched down.

In this photo taken June 2, 2018 photo, the Nine-O-Nine, a Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress taxis after landing at McClellan Airport in Sacramento, Calif.  A B-17 vintage World War II-era bomber plane crashed Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019,  just outside New England's second-busiest airport, and a fire-and-rescue operation was underway, official said. Airport officials said the plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its "Wings of Freedom" vintage aircraft display to Bradley International Airport this week in Windsor Locks, Conn. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The bomber overshot a runway and plunged down a hillside, injuring several people.

The B-17 was built in 1945, too late for combat in World War Two, according to the foundation.

It served in a rescue squadron and a military air transport service before being subjected to the effects of three nuclear explosions during testing, the foundation said.

It was later sold as scrap and eventually was restored. The foundation bought it in 1986.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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