A pilot has been killed after a crash at Oulton Park in Cheshire this afternoon.
The motor racing track in Little Budworth is currently hosting the CarFest event created by TV and radio presenter Chris Evans.
Evans tweeted: “I am very sad to announce there has been a serious air incident at CarFest North off site.
“The emergency services are in attendance.”
Chris Evans, looking distraught, said that the pilot had been killed and said that he wished to pass his condolencies to the family.
He said the air authorities and the police advised that the event should continue because that would be the safest option, given the number of people in attendance.
Earlier, onlooker Johnathan Randall tweeted: “Think I’ve just witnessed a plane crash? Crowd looks glum, confused, concerned. Everyone on their phones.”
Emma McEvoy added on Twitter: “OMG plane crashed right in front of our eyes at Carfest hope the pilot ejected!! Whole crowd went silent!”
Evans is a car enthusiast who has just become the new presenter of Top Gear.
He is taking over from Jeremy Clarkson whose contract was not renewed after he punched a member of the show’s staff during a fracas. Former Top Gear co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May have now also teamed up with Clarkson for a motoring show on Amazon.
Eyewitnesses described horrified spectators screaming as a plane nose dived suddenly during a display.
There was no confirmation of any injuries or the type of plane involved. People attending have posted pictures on Twitter of smoke in the sky.
Celebrities including TV chefs James Martin, Tom Kerridge and Paul Hollywood were due to attend the event.
According to CarFest’s website, at least five separate air display teams were due to perform over the three-day event, which started yesterday.
Reports that the Red Arrows were involved in the accident were believed to be incorrect.
CarFest is described on its Twitter profile as Evans’s “dream of the perfect family festival”, featuring cars, planes and music. It is raising money for BBC Children In Need.
The event in Cheshire began yesterday and is due to finish tomorrow.
A second event is due to take place at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire between August 28-30.