LONDON — Vintage jets have been banned from conducting aerobatic displays over land in Britain, officials said Monday, as the death toll from a fiery air-show crash was expected to rise.
Displays by historical aircraft at air shows would be restricted to flypasts — meaning "high energy" aerobatic displays would be off limits until further notice, the U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a statement.
"Following the accident we immediately began an urgent review," the regulator said. As part of "a series of immediate restrictions and changes to UK civil air displays," all flights by Hawker Hunter aircraft had also been temporarily restricted, the CAA added.
Two days after Saturday's crash, officials were still unclear about how many people were killed. A crane lifted part of the aircraft wreckage from the highway on Monday. But with the chaotic, 400-yard crash site still being cleared, officials warned the death toll "may rise."
Steve Barry, assistant chief constable at Sussex Police, said the death toll would be "probably fewer" than 20.
The jet's pilot, Andrew Hill, survived the crash and remained in critical condition in a chemically induced coma. It was not immediately clear whether Hill used his ejector seat, although footage appeared to show that he did not deploy it before impact.
The pilot's family said they were "devastated and deeply saddened for the loss of life," according to a statement issued by police Monday.
Identifying the number of people killed was proving difficult because of the "scale of devastation" on the A27 highway, Sussex Police said in a statement Sunday.
"The recovery process is necessarily complex and thorough, and … at this time, the site remains a hazardous area," the statement added.