Firefighters reflect on their experience responding to B-17 plane crash at Bradley


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — In the wake of the deadly B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport, first-responders talk about how quickly they jumped into action and how they are now dealing with what they encountered.

As the days go on, we are getting a clearer idea of what it was like for those firefighters who responded to the tragedy at Bradley on October 2nd.

Related: NTSB continues onsite investigation of deadly WWII plane crash

The flames, the smoke, and seeing the victims in that plane…all sights that Steve McDuell says will stay with him forever.

McDuell, who is the President of the Firefighters Union, is one of the airport firefighters who ran toward the flames to try to help the people whom were on board the B-17 known as ‘909’ after it crashed on Wednesday.

McDuell, along with a team of seven other firefighters and four Air National Guardsmen, responded to the 909 fire within three minutes of the crash.

McDuell says he and the others are still trying to process what they encountered at the crash site, and they’re getting help.

“There’s a lot of things that you saw out there that a normal person would not want to see. Can’t really talk about too much of it — it’s still under investigation. It was definitely a tough scene to see some of the victims — it was tough to see. A very tragic event that’s something you don’t want to experience again, that’s for sure.”

Steve McDuell, President of Firefighters Union

McDuell told News 8 that the last of the wreckage from the crash was cleared away Sunday.

Sunday also marks National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend, paying special tribute to the bravery displayed by our protectors all year round.

Still no word yet on what caused the 909 crash.

Later tonight, News 8 will talk more about the help firefighters are getting as they continue to process the tragedy.

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