THE first medical professional on the scene of the Shoreham Airshow tragedy has told of the horror he faced.

Nurse consultant Tony Kemp had been helping in the Red Cross tent at the Shoreham Airshow when the Hawker Hunter crashed on the A27 on Saturday.

First on the scene, he made straight for the cockpit where firefighters had said Andy Hill was still alive.

He was quickly joined by two off-duty doctors – Marieanne Jackson, of New Pond Row Surgery, Lancing, and Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group member Karen Eastman – as well as paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service and the air ambulance.

Mr Kemp and Dr Eastman took the bulk of the kit to the cockpit and worked with fire crews, about ten metres from the engines which remained on fire, to help give the pilot immediate life saving care. Dr Jackson took care of the walking wounded who were being taken to Lancing College.

The group worked in fear of further explosions and Mr Kemp recalled how he routinely asked firefighters nearby: “Are we safe?”

He said: “There was a large plume of smoke and flames. We didn’t know if we were safe because of the fumes.

“It was apparent he [the pilot] was very seriously ill.”

Ambulance crews then moved Mr Hill onto a long board stretcher so he could be moved quickly to a greater place of greater safety before air ambulance took him he was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

Mr Kemp, the two doctors and other rescuers then turned their attention to those at the college and in the Red Cross treatment centre on the airfield, later helping those affected emotionally by the incident and giving health advice to visitors stuck at airshow while the area was in lock down.

Mr Kemp added: “As a human being there’s the absolute horror when you are first faced with it.

“There is the recognition as you work through the crash site of just the scale of the disaster you are dealing with.

“There is this awful scene of devastation. It was immediately obvious there were a number of deceased casualties. You are dealing with people who are just walking, blind, just staring. They should never have to see that.”

Mr Hill has now been moved to a specialist hospital and remains in a critical but stable condition.