USA officials on Tuesday were investigating the cause of a military transport plane crash that killed 16 service members including elite special operations forces a day earlier, leaving a miles-long trail of wreckage in rural northern Mississippi. Authorities provided few details on what went wrong, or the nature of the Marines´ mission.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The military transport plane that slammed into soybean fields Monday in the Mississippi Delta, killing 15 Marines and a Navy sailor, appears to have developed problems while high in the air, a Marine general said Wednesday.
The commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller said: "On behalf of the entire Marine Corps, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the aircraft mishap yesterday afternoon in MS,". WMC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Memphis, is reporting investigators believe the plane exploded in mid-air because they found debris on both sides of a highway near the crash site.
The KC-130T is one of the older variants of the aircraft in use with the Marine Corps.
The crash was the deadliest Marine crash in the world in more than a decade.
James said all the families had been notified but the names of the victims would not be released for a few days.
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Often used for airborne refueling, the KC-130, made by Lockheed Martin Corp., also can be used to deliver cargo, troops and equipment.
Accidents involving U.S. military aircraft are not uncommon, but rarely do they claim so many lives.
Tillis, who represents North Carolina, said in a statement Tuesday morning that he and his wife are extending their deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who were killed, as well as to the Cherry Point station and the community of Havelock.
Fisher said the "crash area has been secured" but that there are still explosives that need to be recovered by teams on the ground.
The North Carolina senator is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel.
Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth that debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about 5 miles (8 kilometers).
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