Seven people were killed on Saturday at an airshow on the English seaside when a military jet failed to pull up out of a loop and crashed into a road.

The Hawker Hunter aircraft taking part in the Shoreham Airshow on the southeast coast hit several cars, creating a fireball and sending thick black smoke billowing into the air.

Footage of the crash showed the jet carrying out a loop manoeuvre high in the air. The plane banked up steeply, looped over but did not pull up in time before hitting the ground.

It is not yet clear whether the pilot was able to eject.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service confirmed the death toll.

“SECAMB confirm seven fatalities from the crash at the Shoreham air show today. Thoughts are with the families and loved ones,” the emergency service said on Twitter.

West Sussex Police said one casualty was being treated in hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries, while a further 14 were being treated for minor injuries.

The crash happened at around 1:20pm (1220 GMT). The plane hit the A27, a major road that runs along England’s southeast coast.

Pictures from the scene showed police had cordoned off the four-lane dual carriageway road, with ambulances and fire crews and emergency service helicopters in attendance. Debris was visible across the road.