eno air race crash: Three people killed
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The National Championship Air Races draws thousands of people every year in September to watch various military and civilian planes race.
Three people have died and scores are injured after an airplane crashed near a grandstand at an air race near Reno, Nevada, say medical officials.
The vintage World War II-era P-51 Mustang crashed at about 1630 local time (2330 GMT) at the National Championship Air Races.
There are unconfirmed reports that up to 12 people may have been killed.
Eyewitnesses said smoking debris and body parts were strewn across the airfield.
'Just pulverized' Fifty-four people were taken to hospital, some in critical condition, said Mike Houghton, head of the Reno Air Racing Association and CEO of the event.
Continue reading the main story“Start QuoteOne guy was cut in half. There's arms and legs. One guy just said, 'hey, there's another foot over here'”End Quote Dr Gerald Lent Eyewitness
He said he did not have confirmed figures for fatalities.
The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the airport to investigate the accident.
Mr Houghton said the Mustang had not been flying too close to the ground prior to the crash.
He said that there appeared to be a "problem with the aircraft that caused it to go out of control".
"This is a very large incident, probably one of the largest this community has seen in decades," Stephanie Kruse, a spokeswoman for the Regional Emergency Medical Service Authority, told the Associated Press.
"The community is pulling together to try to deal with the scope of it. The hospitals have certainly geared up and staffed up to deal with it."
Kathy Carter, a spokeswoman for Renown Medical Center in Reno, said that two people had died, not including the pilot.
The Mustang, named The Galloping Ghost, was flown by well-known racing pilot Jimmy Leeward, 74.
Mr Houghton said that Leeward, from Ocala, Florida, was a real estate developer who had been racing planes since the mid-1970s.
He said that Leeward's medical records had been "in tip-top condition".
He added that most of Leeward's family had been at Friday's event.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval was on his way to the scene.
Jimmy Leeward has been racing planes since the 1970s
Leeward's website says he has flown in more than 120 races and had been a movie stunt pilot.
Ronald Sargis, who was sitting in the box-seat area, said spectators could tell the plane was in trouble before it crashed.
"About six or seven boxes down from us, it impacted into the front row," Mr Sargis told KCRA-TV in Sacramento. He added: "It appeared to be just pulverized."