Eleven people are feared to have died in the Shoreham air crash, police have said.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said police had identified 11 people they were treating as "highly likely to have died in this tragedy".

He added they could not yet formally identify any of those who had died.

Mr Barry said: "This has been an enormously traumatic incident and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected, from those who have suffered bereavement to those in the local community who are deeply shocked."

He added: "Sadly, as a result of our initial work at the site, which has continued overnight, and inquiries following calls to the emergency services from worried families and friends, we have now identified 11 people who we are treating as highly likely to have died in this tragedy."

Mr Barry also warned that the death toll could rise further still.

Investigators are keeping "an open mind" about who has been involved in the crash as they continue to receive calls from worried friends and relatives.

He said: "The scene itself is incredibly large. A lot of specially-trained officers are sifting, as we speak, so we do need to keep an open mind but from what we have seen at this stage it is possible that we will find more fatalities."

Explaining why he could not say for certain that 11 people had died, Mr Barry said it was a "technical process" which needs help from the next of kin to identify any of the bodies which are recovered.

He said: "At the moment, it may be conjecture.

"We work really closely with the families and we have specially-trained officers giving the most up-to-date information to the families that helps inform us and effectively classifies them as highly-likely as having died in the crash.

"It is not until the body is recovered that we are able to fully identify who has been killed."

Specialists from other police forces in the South East and the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been drafted into help with the recovery operation, Mr Barry said.

Removal of the bodies will carry on today and likely continue throughout tomorrow.

A crane will be brought in to lift the wreckage of the aircraft tomorrow, when police fear they may discover more dead.

An exclusion zone remains in place around the crash site, which is a hazardous area after investigators discovered there is still fuel on the plane.

Mr Barry said the status of the jet's ejector seats was yet to be determined but confirmed the pilot was pulled from the burning wreckage.

He said: "The pilot who was freed from the wreckage yesterday remains in a critical condition in the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

"Others who were injured have all now been treated for their injuries."

The A27 may be closed for several days as bodies are removed and investigators carry out their work before the aircraft and vehicles are removed.

The road itself was also badly damaged and will need to be repaired.

Mr Barry said the crash site was spread over an "extremely large area" covering about 400 yards on the Shoreham airfield itself.

He told Sky News: "We know nobody that was attending the air show was injured but we do fear that when we start to recover the victims we will find there are more fatalities."

Dozens of staff are working on the investigation, supporting the AAIB and helping the body recovery operation.

Mr Barry said: "It is a very, very significant operation, the likes of which I have never seen before."

He also said that speaking with the pilot was vitally important to their investigation, saying: "That will be a key avenue, that we would like to talk to the pilot and establish what occurred.

"It is quite clear what has occurred, but what we need to establish through the investigation is why it occurred."

Both police and the AAIB have urged anyone with photos or footage of the crash to contact them as it may help with the investigation.

An AAIB spokesman said: "The on-site investigation into the causes of the crash is continuing, with the AAIB team working closely with Sussex Police and local emergency services.

"A preliminary report will be published when the initial stages of the investigation are completed. We ask if any members of the public with footage or photos of the crash could provide them to the AAIB as they could assist the investigation. They can do this by contacting enquiries@aaib.gov.uk."

Footage and pictures of the incident can also be sent to police, who urge people to contact them on shoreham.airshow2015@sussex.pnn.police.uk before sending any files.

Several cars were hit by the burning aircraft, one of which was a Daimler wedding car on its way to pick up a bride to take her to her wedding.

The company, Chariots Chauffeurs, believe the male driver is among those killed.

Jay Sherwin, the company's owner, said: "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of our driver who was caught up in the tragic air crash on Saturday afternoon in Shoreham, West Sussex.

"We ask the media to respect the privacy of his family. We will be making no further comments at this sad time."

As emergency services continued clearing the crash site, local residents and loved ones came to the scene to pay their respects.

Dozens of bunches of flowers, yellow bouquets, roses and sunflowers, lined the railings of a footbridge nearby.

A steady stream of people, mostly in ones and twos, came to leave tributes to those affected by the tragedy.

One card read: "We didn't know you but we came because we care, we wanted you to know that you and your families are in our thoughts.

"Shoreham grieves for you and with you. Rest in peace."

Another said: "Thinking of all those who have lost their lives at the Shoreham air show on 22 August 2015.

"Friends and family are in our thoughts. Rest in peace to you all."

A message from St John's Ambulance, Southwick Unit, read: "Our thoughts are with loved ones left behind."

The only sound along the wooden bridge, which runs parallel to the A27, was fluttering cellophane and seagulls.

A long line of police and fire vehicles could be seen parked along the A27 as emergency services worked on into the evening.

Crews, including forensic teams in white body suits, will continue their tireless search for more casualties in the coming days.