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The Latest: Airman aboard B-17 opened hatch, allowed escape

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a World War II-era bomber in Connecticut (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The Connecticut Air National Guard says an airman who was aboard a B-17 bomber that crashed in Connecticut opened a hatch that allowed some passengers to escape a fire.

The Guard said Thursday the airman has training and experience in handling emergencies on aircraft.

After the crash Wednesday morning at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport, he used flame-retardant flight gloves he had brought with him to open the hatch.

The airman suffered injuries and has been recovering at home since his release from a hospital Wednesday evening.

The airman is currently command chief for the 103rd Airlift Wing. His name was not released.

Seven people were killed in the crash of the World War II-era plane.

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9:40 a.m.

A former police officer and an insurance analyst were among the seven people killed in the crash of a B-17 bomber at a Connecticut airport.

State officials said Thursday that Gary Mazzone (muh-ZOHN’) died in the crash the day before of the World War II-era plane at Bradley International Airport.

The 60-year-old Mazzone, of East Windsor, retired in January as a prosecutor’s office inspector and previously was a Vernon police officer for 22 years.

The wife of Robert Riddell, an insurance company analyst from East Granby, said in a Facebook post that her husband was among those killed.

Robert Riddell had posted a photo from inside the plane just before takeoff.

The victims’ names have not been officially released, but officials and relatives are beginning to confirm some of them.

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