Prime Minister pays respects at Shoreham airshow crash site and Tollbridge

Posted On 19 Sep 2015 at 11:24 am

David Cameron visited Shoreham yesterday (Friday 18 September) to meet members of the emergency services who dealt with the Shoreham airshow crash.

The Prime Minister thanked them and paid his respects to the 11 men who died in the crash, laying flowers at the Tollbridge.

David Cameron

David Cameron

He spent part of his visit at the Brighton and Hove Albion training ground at Lancing where the emergency services set up an operations centre after the crash.

The Shoreham Herald newspaper quoted Mr Cameron as saying: “I wanted to come down and pay my respects and give my condolences to the community and to the families who lost loved ones.

“But above all today was about coming to meet the emergency services and those who responded so brilliantly and to thank them for the incredible professionalism of what they did.

“It really is a credit to the emergency services in West Sussex. They’re not the biggest ambulance service or the biggest police service or the biggest fire service but they really did do a brilliant job.

“Not only were they incredibly quick and professional but they were also incredibly sensitive because they were dealing with an obviously horrendous scene but also dealing with people’s loved ones and they did that very sensitively.”

At the tollbridge the Prime Minister left flowers and a note saying: “A tragic accident and a terrible loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. David and Samantha Cameron”

He told the Herald: “It’s very moving and the response of the community and the people from all over the country who have come to give flowers just shows what incredibly big-hearted, compassionate people the British are.

“Out of these tragedies, which one never wants to happen, always come extraordinary stories and individuals who go above and beyond what’s expected.”

An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the deaths of 11 men: Maurice Abrahams, Dylan Archer, Tony Brightwell, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Matt Jones, Graham Mallinson, Daniele Polito, Mark Reeves, Richard Smith and Mark Trussler.

They were killed when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on the A27 on at the Shoreham airshow four weeks ago on Saturday 22 August.

The visit was organised by East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton who initiated a parliamentary debate about the crash in Westminster Hall on Tuesday (15 September).

He said: “Eleven men tragically lost their lives and many stories of the personal tragedies that accompanied that loss touched a chord across the nation.

“It represented the largest civilian loss of life in the United Kingdom since 7/7 (the bombings in London on Thursday 7 July 2005) and the first fatalities on the ground at any UK air show since 1952.

“Those statistics will give little comfort to the victims’ families, and I am sure that I echo the feelings of the whole House when I say that our thoughts and prayers go out to them, and that the first priority remains to give them the support that they will need in these difficult times.

“Neither should we forget the pilot (Andy Hill) who continues to recover from his horrific injuries.”

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport is investigating the crash. It has published interim findings and is expected to publish a full report next year.

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