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Death toll set to climb after U.K. airshow disaster

LONDON -- British police say the death toll from an airshow crash is "highly likely" to increase to 11 people after a fighter jet slammed into a busy main road.

The Hawker Hunter single-seater fighter jet, which was participating in the Shoreham Airshow near Brighton in southern England, hit several vehicles on a nearby road as it crashed Saturday afternoon. Witnesses say the jet appeared to have plummeted when it failed to pull out of a loop maneuver.

The initial death toll was seven.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry of Sussex Police said officials were removing bodies from the scene Sunday and more fatalities may be discovered.

The pilot remained in critical condition in the hospital, and a crane will remove the jet wreckage on Monday.

The road onto which the plane crashed was choked with traffic, including many people waiting to get into the airshow.

News video and photographs showed a fireball erupting near trees and huge plumes of thick black smoke rising immediately after the crash. A witness, Stephen Jones, told the BBC that the pilot had just begun his display.

"He'd gone up into a loop and as he was coming out of the loop I just thought, you're too low, you're too low, pull up. And he flew straight into the ground either on or very close to the A27, which runs past the airport," Jones said.

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