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Shoreham Air Show: Silence to remember crash victims

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image copyright Eddie Mitchell
image captionA wooden toll bridge overlooking the crash site has become the focus for public tributes

Hundreds of people have fallen silent to mark one week since the Shoreham air disaster in which 11 people died.

Last Saturday a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed into traffic on the busy A27, causing the most serious crash at a UK air show in years.

People gathered to join minute silences held across various events.

The West Sussex Coroner is expected to begin the formal identification of the victims and open the inquests into their deaths on Wednesday.

media captionA minute's silence was observed at the crash site
image copyrightPA
image captionThe number of floral tributes grows every day
image copyrightDominic Lipinski/PA
image captionA candlelit vigil was held on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham

At 13:20 BST, the time the plane crashed onto the A27 last Saturday, a minute's silence was observed on the wooden toll bridge overlooking Shoreham Airport and the crash site which has become the focus for public tributes to the 11 people who died.

Members of the Surrey and Sussex Drum and Bugle Corps sounded the Last Post to signal the start of the silence.

'So raw'

Bugler James Williams, 31, from Worthing, said: "My dad Ian Williams saw the plane going up on the other side of the Southwick Tunnel and as he came through it crashed.

"If it wasn't for the fact that the person he was picking up was late he could potentially have been caught up in it.

"It makes it harder for us to play. Nothing is settled and it's all so raw at the moment."

In Lancing, West Sussex, a memorial event was held at the Manor Recreation Ground from 13:00 BST including a two-minute silence.

A minute's silence in honour of the dead was also held at the Wings and Wheels event at Dunsfold, Surrey, at 11:30 BST.

In Littlehampton, hometown of one of the victims - Matt Jones, a memorial was held on the seafront with balloons released to remember the 24-year-old personal trainer.

And a candlelit vigil was held at 19:30 BST on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham.

Those attending were given a tea-light in a jar to place on the bridge and a book of remembrance was opened.

image copyright@WestSussexFire/PA
image captionFirefighters from West Sussex observed their own minute's silence
image copyrightAndrew Girdler
image captionThe pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet survived the crash
image copyrighteddie mitchell
image captionSussex Police confirmed 11 people had been been formally identified

The families of those killed have been invited to attend the opening of the inquests at Parkside, County Hall North in Horsham.

Penelope Schofield, the West Sussex Coroner, said she had already met with the families affected.

'Horrific accident'

"Identifying all 11 victims has been a difficult process due to the horrific nature of the accident and the intensity of the fire," she said.

Sussex Police have confirmed 11 victims have been been formally identified.

Det Ch Insp Carwyn Hughes said: "We cannot discount any further victims as our search at the scene continues but we have no reason to suspect that there is anyone else."

Six victims have so far been named and the relatives of two missing men have posted tributes online.

The pilot of the Hunter Hawk jet, Andy Hill, was left fighting for his life and has now been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment.

Air show restrictions

In response to the crash, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has banned vintage jets from carrying out "high-energy aerobatics" over land.

Mark Swann, of the CAA, said: "We have not had a major flying accident that has affected the public in this way since 1952."

Then, 31 people died after a De Havilland 110 fighter disintegrated and fell into the crowd at the Farnborough Air Show.

A host of air shows are taking place over the weekend in accordance with the new restrictions, although the CarFest event in Hampshire has cancelled its air display and a show in County Durham has been postponed.

Other shows taking place, some with restrictions, are:

  • Clacton Airshow, which takes place entirely over sea, has no changes to the schedule
  • At Wings and Wheels in Dunsfold, Surrey, two planes will be restricted to only performing flypasts
  • Organisers of Dartmouth Royal Regatta in Devon have amended a Strikemaster jet's routine
  • Little Gransden Air and Car show in Cambridgeshire has replaced a Hawker Hunter with a Yak-11 and a display will go ahead

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