Horror: Jet plunges to the ground and explodes in a huge fireball at Madrid airshow (PHOTOS)

A pilot has died after the historic jet he was flying at an airshow in Spain today plunged into a building and exploded in a huge fireball in front of horrified spectators.

A spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe Hopsital in Madrid.

The aircraft crashed into a hanger and exploded at an airfield in the southwest of the capital in front of stunned witnesses, one of whom captured the crash on film.

Explosion: A plane crashed at an airshow in Madrid today, sending a giant fireball into the sky and severely injuring the pilot who later died in hospital in MadridExplosion: A plane crashed at an airshow in Madrid today, sending a giant fireball into the sky and severely injuring the pilot who later died in hospital in Madrid
Stunned: Witnesses, some holding their heads in disbelief, looked on in shock as the plane entered a dive and crashed into a building, causing a massive explosionStunned: Witnesses, some holding their heads in disbelief, looked on in shock as the plane entered a dive and crashed into a building, causing a massive explosion
Historic jet: The plane that crahsed was a HA-200 Saeta, built in the 1950s as an advanced jet trainer by Hispano Aviacion and was later given an attack capabilityHistoric jet: The plane that crahsed was a HA-200 Saeta, built in the 1950s as an advanced jet trainer by Hispano Aviacion and was later given an attack capability
Experienced: The 35-year-old pilot was assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes and was flying one of the first jet-propelled planes to be manufactured in SpainExperienced: The 35-year-old pilot was assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes and was flying one of the first jet-propelled planes to be manufactured in Spain
Horror: An official said the cause of the crash was not known, but state broadcaster RTVE spoke to one witness who described seeing the plane dive before crashingHorror: An official said the cause of the crash was not known, but state broadcaster RTVE spoke to one witness who described seeing the plane dive before crashing

Around 3,000 people were at Cuatro Vientos airfield watching a showcase of aerial acrobatics and vintage aircraft when the drama unfolded before them.

The 35-year-old experienced jet pilot and assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes was flying one of the first jet-propelled planes to be manufactured in Spain.

The plane, a HA-200 Saeta, was a built in the 1950s as an advanced jet trainer by Hispano Aviacion, ministry spokesman Alfredo Florenza said. It was later given an attack capability.

Florenza said the cause of the crash was not known. Video footage shows the plane performing a steep dive at high speed ahead of the crash.

Wreckage: A smashed wing from the crashed aircraft lies among parked cars, some of which were badly damaged by the aircraft before it hit the buildingWreckage: A smashed wing from the crashed aircraft lies among parked cars, some of which were badly damaged by the aircraft before it hit the building
Crash site: An official stands guard in a car park by the aerodrome, where debris from the plane and trees it had crashed into litter the areaCrash site: An official stands guard in a car park by the aerodrome, where debris from the plane and trees it had crashed into litter the area
Safety: The historic Hispano HA-200 Saeta plane is checked before take off at Spain's oldest airport, which was previously used by the militarySafety: The historic Hispano HA-200 Saeta plane is checked before take off at Spain’s oldest airport, which was previously used by the military

Frightened spectators can been seen running from the scene as the plane explodes behind them. The plane appeared to be flying well before the crash and had performed a series of aerobatic stunts, according to reports.

Wreckage of the plane, including one of its wings, could been seen littered around a car park among parked vehicles, some of which were damaged by the aircraft before it hit the building.

 

State broadcaster RTVE spoke to one witness who described seeing the jet plane plunge towards the ground before crashing into the buildings below.

The broadcaster also showed images of the explosion and the thick plume of black smoke which poured into the blue sky following the devastating incident.

Aftermath: Spanish broadcaster RTVE showed images of the explosion and the thick plume of black smoke which poured into the sky following the devastating crashAftermath: Spanish broadcaster RTVE showed images of the explosion and the thick plume of black smoke which poured into the sky following the devastating crash

 

Emergency: A rescue worker suffering from smoke inhalation received first aid at the scene of the crash, according to the Europa Press news agency
Emergency: A rescue worker suffering from smoke inhalation received first aid at the scene of the crash, according to the Europa Press news agency

Emergency: A rescue worker suffering from smoke inhalation received first aid at the scene of the crash, according to the Europa Press news agency

 

Devastation: Spectators had flocked to the airshow on the outskirts of the Spanish capital to see a showcase of aerial acrobatics and vintage aircraftDevastation: Spectators had flocked to the airshow on the outskirts of the Spanish capital to see a showcase of aerial acrobatics and vintage aircraft

 

Scared: Video footage shows frightened spectators running from the scene of the crash as the vintage plane explodes in a fireball behind themScared: Video footage shows frightened spectators running from the scene of the crash as the vintage plane explodes in a fireball behind them

Injuries: Europa Press news agency reported quotes from the emergency services saying three people other than the pilot required medical attentionInjuries: Europa Press news agency reported quotes from the emergency services saying three people other than the pilot required medical attention

Spain’s airport authority AENA said no one else other than the pilot was injured. But the Europa Press news agency reported quotes from the emergency services saying three people required medical attention.

One of them, a rescue worker, was said to be suffering from burns, while a 57-year-old man, believed to be the pilot’s father, was taken to hospital after suffering an anxiety attack.

Another rescue worker suffering from smoke inhalation received first aid at the scene, the agency said.

Cuatro Vientos, which translates as Four Winds, is the oldest airport and was previously used as a air base. It lies around 10 miles from central Madrid and was visited by Pope John Paul II in 2003 on his last trip to Spain.

Tragedy: The vintage jet plane was seen plunging towards the ground before smashing into a hanger at the airfield southwest of MadridTragedy: The vintage jet plane was seen plunging towards the ground before smashing into a hanger at the airfield southwest of Madrid
Medical attention: A rescue worker was suffering from burns, while a man, believed to be the pilot's father, was taken to hospital after suffering an anxiety attackMedical attention: A rescue worker was suffering from burns, while a man, believed to be the pilot’s father, was taken to hospital after suffering an anxiety attack
Drama: The horror unfolded in front of thousands of spectators, who were left stunned by what they were seeing at today's airshowDrama: The horror unfolded in front of thousands of spectators, who were left stunned by what they were seeing at today’s airshow
Grief: A spokesman for the country's Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe Hopsital in MadridGrief: A spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe Hopsital in Madrid
Disaster: Video footage shows the jet plane making a series of aerobatic stunts before plummeting towards he hangers close to the airfieldDisaster: Video footage shows the jet plane making a series of aerobatic stunts before plummeting towards he hangers close to the airfield
Take-off: A plane takes off from the airfield just moments before the devastating crash, which left a pilot dead from his severe injuriesTake-off: A plane takes off from the airfield just moments before the devastating crash, which left a pilot dead from his severe injuries

Read more: Daily Mail

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