World War II-era bomber crashes at Connecticut airport

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HARTFORD, Conn. — A World War II-era B-17 bomber crashed Wednesday morning while trying to land at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport, and a rescue operation is underway, officials said.

The airport is closed as a result of the crash, which happened at about 10 a.m. ET, the Federal Aviation Administration said. A column of black smoke towers over the crash scene.

At least six patients from the crash are expected to be taken to Hartford Hospital, said hospital spokesman Shawn Mawhiney.

The vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at the end of a runway as its pilot tried to land, the FAA said in a statement.

It is a civilian-registered aircraft, not flown by the military, the FAA said. The plane belonged to the Collings Foundation, theย airport said on Twitter.

A “Wings of Freedom Tour,” featuring the B-17 and other aircraft, was scheduled at the airport this week, from Monday to Thursday, the foundation said on its website.

As part of the tour, people could purchase various experiences aboard the featured aircraft, including flights, the website says.

“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,” the foundation said in a statement to CNN.

“The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.”

The foundation is a 40-year-old educational nonprofit that organizes and supports “‘living history’ events and the preservation, exhibition and interaction of historical artifacts that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation,” according to its website. It counts the Wings of Freedom Tour as a “major focus” of its endeavors, the site states.

The airport is in Windsor Locks, about a 15-mile drive north of Hartford.

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