Reno Victims Recall Moments After the Plane Crash

Posted on September 21, 2011

The Reno, Nevada air crash that has been labeled as the nation’s deadliest air racing tragedy has claimed one more fatality when a patient died overnight. This brings the total number of deaths from 9 to 10.

Seventy more people were hospitalized after the airplane accident occurred, and one remains in critical condition, according to a spokeswoman of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Five others are in serious condition.

However, amid the devastation, victims recall the calm authority with which witnesses tended to the wounded in the moments after the catastrophe.

A 25-year-old male who was severely burned by fuel and injured by shrapnel described the scene:

“…people were very calm. You know, they didn’t know me. They came, held my hand, told me I was going to be all right. They walked into a scene where people were amputated, whatever, and just carnage everywhere, and they decided to help. To me, those were the real heroes.”

Another victim described the effort as cooperation. “Everybody pulled together perfectly and worked side by side.”

Emergency crews worked with members of the crowd to get the numerous victims to hospitals. The crowd, being full of pilots and veterans, was credited by officials as being an enormous help, as they’re the type of people who are used to high-pressure situations.

An emergency room doctor described the disaster as “the worst [he’s] ever seen.” However, the hospital had trained for such an event just hours earlier, and they were able to separate the patients based on need for immediacy of care.

Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what caused the pilot to lose control of the heavily modified WWII-era P-51 fighter plane. Videos showing a piece of the tail missing may be important evidence in determining the cause.

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