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Fatalities reported in World War II plane crash at Connecticut airport

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Dave Colavecchio/Twitter(WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn.) — A World War II plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut on Wednesday morning, resulting in an undisclosed number of fatalities, officials said.

The vintage Boeing B-17 crashed at 9:54 a.m. at the end of a runway while trying to land, sending plumes of smoke into the air. according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Fourteen were injured in the crash.

Thirteen people were on board the plane: 10 passengers and three crew members, officials said, adding a person on the ground was also injured.

Five minutes into the flight, a problem was reported to the tower, said officials. The pilot tried to return to the runway and circle around but on touchdown the plane lost control and struck a de-icing facility, officials said.

The airport — the second largest in New England — closed immediately after the crash. The airport is expected to reopen at 1:30 p.m. using one runway, officials said.

The World War II plane was civilian registered — not flown by the military, according to the FAA, and was part of the Wings of Freedom tour, according to ABC New Haven affiliate WTNH.

Officials with the Collings Foundation, an educational foundation which holds the Wings of Freedom tour, said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley Airport. The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said on Twitter he’s calling for an immediate investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) “so we can get to the bottom of what happened & prevent future tragedies.”

“Vintage planes must be properly maintained & flown— & the NTSB must tell us whether this tragedy could have been prevented,” Blumenthal said.

The NTSB said it’s sending a team to the crash site.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont tweeted: “Such an unfortunate situation with an historic aircraft. Our prayers are with everyone who was on board.”

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