“I felt the ground shake and then saw what looked like a bomb had gone off.”
The words of eye-witness Ryan Keats who was standing just a few hundred feet from the scene of the devastating plane crash at Shoreham Air Show yesterday.
The 23-year-old is still trying to come to terms with the shocking events which unfolded before his eyes at the show.
It was the second time Ryan had worked at the show as a member of the Johnston Press events team which promotes Sussex Newspapers across the county.
“I had gone for my lunch break and was just shaking the salt on my chips when I heard the plane above,” said Ryan. who lives in Eastbourne.
“Someone in the queue said ‘that’s pretty low’ and it didn’t look far above the ground.
“I was still shaking the salt onto my chips when it happened.
“I saw the Hawker Hunter was about 100 feet or so above the ground and it started shaking.
“I think at that point the pilot was looking for a place that would have the least impact.
“But at no point did I think it was going to crash. You just assume the pilot knows what he is doing and was going to pull up.
“The plane went behind the bushes and then I felt the ground shake.
“When I saw the fireball I thought it was part of a pyrotechnic show.
“I felt the impact - it went through me.
“It looked like a bomb had gone off. The smoke then drifted off into a black cloud.
“I didn’t know it had gone onto the A27 but I had a feeling that it was bad.
“I went back to our promotion stand and I remember seeing a young child holding on to its grandmother crying, just sat on the steps to our bouncy castle.
“After that people came together and everyone was asking if everyone was all right. It was a real human moment where everyone just wanted to make sure they were all right.
“The fire trucks went out and the commentator asked everyone to remain calm.
“It was a really eerie feeling. I was in tears at one point. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel.
“I’ve never felt like that before.
“I still feel like I could’ve been dead. I’m still in a state of shock and my heart goes out to those affected.”
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