This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 plane has crashed in LeFlore County, Mississippi on Monday after a “mishap” and 16 Marines have died. Fred Randle, County Emergency Management Director confirmed that 16 were dead according to CNN.
The station said debris was found “on either side of the highway, indicating a possible mid-air explosion,” according to NBC.
Statements of condolences poured in from across America.
“Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom,” said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
The New York Times added more information:
The cause of the crash, in an unincorporated part of Leflore County, was not immediately clear, but Chief Banks said witnesses described the plane as disintegrating in the air as it neared the ground. The chief estimated the debris field was about three miles in diameter.
The chief, who said the Fire Department used about 9,000 gallons of foam to extinguish a blaze, said he believed the cockpit and fuselage had fallen about a mile from one of the plane’s wings.
Mayor Carolyn McAdams of Greenwood, the county seat, said military officials were traveling to the crash scene on Monday night. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency referred questions to the military.
No other information was available as of approximately 11:32 p.m. EST.