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Horsham pays respects to air show crash victims

Residents are paying respects in Horsham to those who died in the Shoreham Air Show disaster.

People shocked by the death toll in the tragic plane crash on Saturday afternoon are signing books of condolence opened to give the community somewhere to share messages of support and sympathy.

The accident is now believed to have claimed 11 lives, including three young men from West Sussex, and is the worst of its kind to happen in the county or in East Sussex.

A coroner has warned that it could be several weeks before all investigations are completed, and names of most of the dead have not yet been made public.

One of the books of condolence will be at County Hall North, Chart Way, Horsham, opening hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm excluding bank holidays.
An online book of condolence is also available at: www.shorehamcondolence.org

At the time of the Post going to press police believed the toll of 11 people who died after a military jet crashed on to the busy A27 during a display was unlikely to increase, after detailed examination of the large area of wreckage.

For eye-witnesses Tim Woodhatch and his son Sam, from Horsham, it was the third time they had seen a crash at Shoreham. Tim signed the condolence book in Horsham on Wednesday and recalled the horror of the crash.

The latest disaster came as Tim and Sam watched on the corner of Coombes Road and the A27 after cycling from Bramber.

Tim told the Post that about 1.15 pm the Hawker Hunter went up and over for a flypast adjacent to the runway then up again. It then did a bank turn to the left ready to level out over the A27.

As it levelled out an alarmed Tim said to Sam: “He’s not going to make it” and the plane dropped nose up and “belly” down onto the traffic about 40 yards from where they were standing.

Tim shouted to Sam:”Run!” as they felt the immense heat and the feeling of objects hitting the backs of their legs, leaving scratches.

Tim said that after checking themselves for injuries they went back to the scene to check for survivors but had to turn away.

Tim said: “I approached one of the cars but was shouted at by several people to get back in case of a secondary explosion.

“The emergency services were on the scene immediately.”

In 2007 at the Shoreham Air Show pilot Brian Brown died when the Hurricane he was flying crashed. Three years later a pilot survived after a glider crashed on to a runway.

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