15 Marines, 1 Navy corpsman killed in military plane crash

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP/KXAN) — A Marine spokesman says a Navy corpsman and 15 Marines were killed in when a military plane crashed in rural Mississippi as it was headed from North Carolina to California.

Marine Corps Maj. Andrew Aranda says Tuesday that the flight of the KC-130T originated Monday from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The plane was taking people and equipment to Naval Air Field El Centro, California, when it crashed Monday afternoon in a soybean field near Itta Bena, Mississippi.

The service members, a combination of active duty and reservists, were assigned to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452) which is based out of New York. The Marine Corps says personal weapons and small-arms ammunition were aboard.

“The aircraft is adaptable to numerous types of missions… it can carry passengers or fuel or a mix,” says Aranda. “It’s a transport aircraft that has lots of capabilities.”

The names of the 16 people killed in the crash are being withheld while loved ones are notified.

The cause of the crash has not been determined at this time. “Any contributing causes will be looked at, so I can’t give you a single what happened right now,” says Aranda.

Andy Jones said he was working on his family’s catfish farm just before 4 p.m. when he heard a boom and looked up to see the plane corkscrewing downward with one engine smoking.

“You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,” he said. “It was spinning down.”

Jones said the plane hit the ground behind some trees in a soybean field, and by the time he and other reached the crash site, fires were burning too intensely to approach the wreckage. The force of the crash nearly flattened the plane, Jones said.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s