This morning a vintage World War II plane that has visited the Hazleton airport many times crashed and erupted into flames leaving multiple dead and wounded.
The plane is owned by the Collings Foundation, a traveling museum that has visited Hazleton many times over the years. The Collings Foundation website has been taken offline after the crash.
The Boeing B-17 plane, which was featured a live flight video on Hazleton News 1, took off just minutes before the crew announced it would be returning due to having issues gaining altitude. Upon returning to the airport the plane slid off the runway and burst into flames at Bardley International Airport just outside Hartford Connecticut.
Sources state that at least 6 injured were transported to local hospitals and 2 unconfirmed deaths have been reported.
"We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport," according to an airport statement.
There were 13 people on board the Boeing B-17, two pilots, one attendant, and 10 passengers. Another person on the ground was injured when the plane slid off the runway and struck a building used to house the airport equipment, officials said.
"We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available," the Bradley airport statement said
During September Drift Evergreen event at Evergreen Raceway in Drums PA and Hazleton News 1's own Shayne Balliet attended the event to do some ride alongs with the drivers.
In the video above, Balliet rode with a few drivers, getting to know them and their stories while going along for runs on the L track. The next and last drift event of 2019 will be October 27th. Follow the Facebook group "Drift Evergreen" for more info.
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