North West Wales

Fatal Red Arrows RAF Valley jet crash inquiry continues

The wreckage at RAF Valley Image copyright PA

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a Red Arrows jet crash which killed an engineer and left a pilot injured in hospital.

The Hawk aircraft, which is used by the aerobatic display team, crashed at RAF Valley on Anglesey at about 13:30 GMT on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses said they only saw one person eject from the jet before it hit the ground and burst into flames.

The RAF has described the incident as a "tragic accident".

North Wales Police said officers and crime scene investigators, supported by other specialists including the Defence Accident Investigation Branch are carrying out a joint investigation to find out what led up to and caused the "tragic event".

On Wednesday, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn sent their condolences to the family of the Red Arrows engineer who was killed.

The prime minister told MPs at question time in the House of Commons: "I am sure the whole house will also wish to join me in expressing our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Red Arrows engineer who tragically died in the aircraft incident at RAF Valley yesterday."

The Labour leader added: "I also join the prime minister in sending condolences to the family and friends of the Red Arrows engineer who sadly died yesterday and we wish the pilot well in his recovery."

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Media captionA large black plume of smoke was seen coming from the crash site

Ch Insp Simon Barrasford also asked anyone who saw the Hawk aircraft before it crashed to contact the force.

On Tuesday, eyewitnesses described hearing a loud explosion before they saw a "ball of flames" and lots of smoke.

One woman said the aircraft "did a loop" and flew towards the runway, looking like it was about to land.

Several people then described how they saw one person eject from the jet as it was quite low to the ground, before it crashed on the runway.

The RAF said the jet was on a routine flight from RAF Valley to RAF Scampton, where the Red Arrows are based, after completing simulator training when it crashed.

The Red Arrows are the RAF's world-famous aerobatic team, who demonstrate close formations and precision flying.

Following the crash, Eastern Airways said domestic flights between Cardiff and Anglesey would be diverted to Hawarden, Flintshire, on Wednesday, with coaches transporting passengers to and from Valley.

The company is awaiting instructions from the RAF before making a decision about Thursday's flights.

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