Thursday, 11 Aug 2022

One dead as flame-shooting ‘Jet Truck’ explodes in fireball and flies 300ft

A custom truck with flame-shooting jet engines that "can hit 350mph" exploded at an air show while racing planes, killing the driver in front of his family.

Chris Darnell, 40, died while driving the race truck called the Shockwave Jet Truck during the air show in Battle Creek, a city in Michigan, US, police said.

Darnell was driving the vehicle in a race with two aircraft on the runway – during the pyrotechnic part of the show – before the accident occurred.

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A small fire behind the truck can be seen as the vehicle slides past a large fireball and crashes in dramatic footage, shot at the scene at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival, held at Battle Creek Executive Airport.

Shocked crowds watch on as an announcer can be heard saying: "Oh boy, we've got an incident here with our Shockwave out here at Air Show Center."

The remainder of Saturday's air show was cancelled "out of respect for the incident that has occurred", Battle Creek Field of Flight said in a statement.

Shockwave, a custom-built race truck, is owned by Darnell Racing Enterprises, ABC News reported.

The owners state that the machine is equipped with three flame-shooting jet engines.

They also state that the vehicle can reach speeds of over 350mph.

Darnell was involved in motorsports "his entire life", according to a bio on Darnell Racing's website.

"When the engine blew, we've got a video of it and we were playing it back. It looked like it blew off the rear tires and, when that happened, that caused the truck to go sideways," Russ Blake, an air show attendee, told FOX 17.

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"And when the truck went sideways, it tipped up on its side, and it flew at least 300ft through the air sideways, looking right up, the afterburners of the engine. And then it hit and started to roll and burst into flames. That was bad."

Ryan Traver, Field of Flight board member, told FOX 17 that the victim's family was there when the accident happened.

Today and Monday's events at the festival are still scheduled to take place.

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