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Reno Air Race Crash Survivor Thanks God He's Alive

The death toll meanwhile climbs to 10

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By Nardos Mesmer, Christian Post Contributor
September 19, 2011|4:24 pm

Noah Joraanstad, a survivor from Friday's deadly air show crash in Reno, is thankful to God that he's alive amid reports that the death toll has risen to 10.

As one of the 69 people treated for injuries sustained during crash, the 25-year old believed he was going to die when the plane, known as "Galloping Ghost," plummeted into the ground during the Reno Air show Friday.

Releasing a statement from his hospital bed, Joraanstad recalled having the plane's shrapnel hit his back and being blown off his feet.

"I think I was very, very fortunate" he told the AP. "I thank God for it, the shrapnel that hit me, hit me right in the right spot where it just missed all my important organs and arteries and my spine. So like I said, I'm very blessed."

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the crash and has collected a camera from the front of the plane, a memory card, flight data and debris. Investigators hope the flight data system recorded of the plane's velocity, altitude and engine performance may explain what caused the accident.

"These could be critical to perform analysis that would allow us to examine certain structural or medical issues based," said Mark Rosekind of the NTSB.

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Amateur videos recorded on cell phones and witness testimony may also play a role in the investigation.

Videos of the crash posted on Youtube show the P-51 Mustang "Galloping Ghost" circling above spectators when a piece of the plane’s tail appears to fall off, sending the aircraft nose-diving into the ground.

The plane's pilot, 74-year of James Leeward, is reported has flying as fast as 500 miles an hour.

On Monday, a male patient with injuries sustained during the Reno Air Race stunt became the tenth person who has died as a result of the crash. A statement released by a hospital spokesperson confirmed the patient died at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center.

 

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