The names of two of the seven victims of a deadly World War II bomber plane crash at Bradley International Airport have been released by family members, but officials have declined to name those that perished.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 2, Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said that to date seven people were killed and that the six survivors were in “varying medical conditions” that ranged from minor to critical condition.
Connecticut State Police have not released the names of those killed or injured.
The crash took place at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, while attempting to land. The vintage World War II airplane was in the air for approximately five minutes when it experienced problems and crashed into a de-icing facility at Bradley, bursting into flames, officials said.
Three people on the plane were crew members, 10 were passengers, state police said.
The identity of one of the victims, Robert Riddell, 59, of East Granby, Connecticut, was confirmed by his wife Debra in a Facebook post.
"It’s been a long and tragic day. Words cannot express how devastated I am,' she wrote. "At this point, all survivors have been identified. Rob was not one of them. We are waiting for the M.E. To identify those who did not make it. "
She went on to say that "Rob was the best person I’ve ever known. He was my soul mate I will miss him beyond words can ever express...My heart goes out to the other people that lost loved ones but especially the people who survived this crash Thank you for your support and love,"
Just a short time before boarding the plane, Robert Riddell took a photo of the aircraft and posted it to his Facebook page.
Another victim identified by the Republican American, was Gary Mazzone, 60, of East Windsor
Mazzone, who lived with his wife Joan, in East Windsor, worked with the Vernon Police Department for 22 years. After retiring from Vernon police, he worked as an Inspector within the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. He retired earlier this year.
The names have not been released because officials are working to be certain of their identity: "The victims are very difficult to identify," Rovella said. "We don't want to make a mistake."
Officials also reported an act of heroism by a National Guard command chief onboard the plane who was able to open the hatch and let people out, despite being injured.
The Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department also reported on Facebook that two of their firefighters were on board the B-17 and that both survived.
"This morning, two of our members were involved in an aircraft incident at Bradley International Airport. At this time both members are being treated at the hospital. We ask that you keep the families in your thoughts," the department wrote.
Additional names are expected to be released once all of the families have been notified, officials said.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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