by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | July 11, 2017 1:24 pm
15 Marines and one Navy Corpsman were killed last night when their KC-130 aircraft went down in a soybean field in Mississippi. There was some type of explosion at 20,000 feet and the plane plummeted, slamming into the ground and killing all on board. The FBI and other agencies are now working feverishly to determine the cause for the crash. This was a refueling tanker and they say it had ammo as a payload. The debris from the wreckage was strewn over a five-mile area. Authorities had trouble finding everything connected to the crash because it was dark.
The Lockheed KC-130 was transporting personnel and equipment from the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, to Naval Air Field El Centro, California. An official at Greenwood Airport, Alan Hammons, reported that the plane suffered a “structural failure” at 20,000 feet. The jet fueled fire on the grown was so hot and intense, it was hard for firefighters to put it out. There were a number of massive explosions on the ground as well. The names of the dead are not being released until family members are notified. Some of the dead were found more than a mile from the crash site.
From Fox News:
The FBI reportedly has joined local and state agencies to investigate what caused a U.S. military plane to corkscrew out of the sky and into a Mississippi field on Monday, killing at least 16.
A KC-130, used as a refueling tanker, “experienced a mishap” when it spiraled down about 4 p.m. into a soybean field, about 85 miles north of Jackson, the Marine Corps said. The aircraft’s debris scattered in a radius of about 5 miles.
Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks told The Associated Press that officials were continuing to look for possible survivors. Banks earlier told the Greenwood Commonwealth 16 people were believed to be on board, but would not confirm that information to The Associated Press.
“We’re still searching the area,” Banks said. “It’s hard to find bodies in the dark.”
A farmer happened to look up as a loud boom erupted from the sky and he saw that one of the engines had caught on fire and the plane was spiraling down into the ground. “You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,” he said. “It was spinning down.” It crashed behind some trees in the field and by the time they got there, there was a huge blaze in the wreckage. The force of the crash literally obliterated the plane. “Beans are about waist-high, and there wasn’t much sticking out above the beans,” he said. “It was one of the worst fires you can imagine.” There wasn’t a whole lot left of anything after the crash.
A Mississippi State Trooper told WMC Action News that in the aftermath of the crash emergency workers had to keep their distance from the plane because it was carrying explosive ordnance. “There’s a lot of ammo in the plane. That’s why we are keeping so far back. We just don’t know what it’ll do. It burns a bit then goes out, burns a little more then dies down,” said the trooper. Emergency services had to employ more than 4,000 gallons of foam in an effort to put out the raging fire.
The wreckage was found on both sides of Highway 82. That indicates that the plane exploded before it crashed. The crash occurred around 4 pm yesterday. The KC-130 is a four-engine propeller-driven plane that is used by both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force. It is also sometimes utilized by other branches of the military to transport vehicles, personnel and equipment. Whatever it was carrying took it out and there was literally no chance of surviving it. What a tragic loss. President Trump and Vice President Pence offered their condolences to those who perished.
Statement on the tragic C-130 crash in Leflore County:
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) July 10, 2017
EXCLUSIVE SKYCOPTER VIDEO: Military C-130 crashes on Leflore/Sunflower County line; Four bodies recovered https://t.co/aDo4h38rnm pic.twitter.com/5SWN8Q8pI6
— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) July 11, 2017
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