The plane crashed in the Mississippi Delta on Monday around 4 PM
In rural Mississippi, military aircraft are a common sight. However, on Monday afternoon, one such routine military flight ended in tragedy after it crashed on a dirt road between acres of farmland.
Fire Chief Marcus Banks stated that witnesses described the plane as “totally disintegrating” as it began to descend, and the field of the debris reached nearly three miles in diameter.
The cause for the crash was not immediately made clear. A Marine Corps spokeswoman, Captain Sarah Burns, stated that a KC-130 aerial refueling aircraft had “experienced a mishap”.
No additional information such as the plane’s scheduled route has been released.
Military officials as well as FBI sent staff to the scene of the crash. A spokesman for the FBI’s office in Jackson, Mississippi said: “We’re just trying to offer any type of assistance. It could be anything from manpower to evidence response.”
At least sixteen individuals were killed in the crash.
Witnesses describe seeing the crash as it happened
Fire Chief Banks estimated almost 9,000 gallons of foam to put out the resulting fire from the crash. He suggested the cockpit and fuselage had fallen roughly a mile away from one of the plane’s wings.
Edna Beavers was working in her garden outside her home in Itta Bena when she saw a cloud of black smoke billowing from a field roughly a mile away. Ms. Beavers claimed she did not hear the plane flying overheard or hear it crash.
She added that even as the sun set, smoke continued to blow off the field. “This is a sad situation there”, she said.
Mississippi governor Phil Bryant offered his condolences after the crash, saying: “Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy. Our men and woman in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom”.