US: Three killed and 50 injured in horrific plane crash

US: Three people were killed and more than 50 injured when a Second World War-era plane flown by a veteran Hollywood stunt pilot plunged into the crowd during a popular air race in the US.

The crash in Reno, Nevada, created a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris and bloodied bodies.

The plane, piloted by 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, spiralled out of control without warning and appeared to disintegrate upon impact.

Authorities are investigating the cause, but one of the event’s organisers said there were indications that mechanical problems were to blame.

Maureen Higgins, of Alabama, who has been going to the air races for 16 years, said the pilot was on his third lap when he lost control.

She was sitting about 30 yards from the crash and watched in horror as the man in front of her started bleeding after debris hit him in the head. She described a scene of “unbelievable gore”.

The dead included Mr Leeward, of Ocala, Florida, a veteran airman and movie stunt pilot who named his P-51 Mustang fighter plane the “Galloping Ghost”, according to Mike Houghton, president and chief executive of Reno Air Races.