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Death Toll in Reno Air Show Crash:11

May 30, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

The Reno air show plane crash in September 2011 was so horrific that authorities could only identify some victims’ remains through DNA testing. Medical examiners officially confirmed the identity of 11 victims. The accident happened when a World War II plane crashed directly into the audience as part of the Reno Air Races.

According to a reuters.com, rescue workers took over 50 people to area hospitals after the plane crash. The 74-year-old exhibition pilot apparently lost control of his vintage aircraft, but federal investigators are still trying to figure out how. The pilot was one of the 11 victims. A photograph of his plane taken just before the crash shows a piece of the plane’s tail falling from the plane.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still conducting their investigation. They do know that the pilot modified the vintage airplane to make it fly faster. Although an experienced stunt pilot, the accident occurred one day before another air show crash that killed the pilot in West Virginia.

With two fatal accidents occurring in as many days, officials are looking closer at the overall safety of air shows. The disasters can send heavy pieces of the aircraft into the crowds at high speeds. The airplane fuel can cause deadly explosions and fires, as well.