Military investigators picked through the charred remains of a Marine Corps cargo airplane Tuesday, seeking clues on the reason why it spiraled out of the sky within western Mississippi, killing 15 Marines and one Navy sailor, said the Marine statement.
The dead integrated six Marine raiders and a sailor man that were traveling to conduct pre-deployment teaching at the Marine Corps air train station in Yuma, Ariz, according to the Marine Corps Special Operations Command statement released Tuesday afternoon. All seven service members belonged to second Marine Raider Battalion.
The little, tight-knit Marine Special Operations neighborhood has been hit especially hard simply by aviation accidents in recent years. In 2015, seven of the elite troops, furthermore from 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, died when they were flying on an Army UH-60 Blackhawk heli-copter that crashed during a training workout off the Florida panhandle.
The ¨¹bung into Mondayâs crash of the KC-130 aircraft, en route from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, And. C., was ongoing, the Marine statement added. The plane is utilized for refueling and carrying freight and troops. Equipment onboard the particular aircraft at the time of the crash integrated small arms and ammunition, an additional Marine statement said. Bomb removal experts have been dispatched to the picture as a precaution.
The crash seems to be the worst aviation accident for your Marine Corps since a CH-53 transport helicopter went down in Iraq in 2005, killing 30 Marines and one sailor.
The names of these killed were not immediately made public impending notification of family members.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson told the Clarion-Ledger the aircraft crashed on the Leflore-Sunflower region line, a rural stretch associated with woods and fields with thick underbrush and vegetation about 85 miles north of Jackson. Earlier, Sheriff Ricky Banks told the particular Ledger that five of the team members were confirmed dead.
Andy Jones, a local resident, told the particular Associated Press that he was focusing on his familyâs catfish farm right before 4 p. m. when he or she heard a boom and appeared up to see the plane corkscrewing downwards with one engine smoking.
âYou looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,â he said. âIt was spinning down.â
He informed the AP that the plane strike the ground behind some trees within a soybean field, and by the time he or she and other reached the crash web site, fires were burning too extremely to approach the wreckage. The force of the crash nearly compressed the plane, Jones said.
âBeans are about waist-high, and there wasnât much sticking out above the beans,â he or she said.
Pictures posted in order to Facebook and published by the Ledger showed thick black smoke from a field. The debris field seems to span a large area.
In the statement Tuesday morning the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, pledged a thorough investigation from the incident.
âOn 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 Mississippi,â Neller said.
The KC-130 is a four-engine propeller-driven plane that is a variant of the Cold War-era C-130 Hercules. The plane could be configured to refuel aircraft within midair or equipment on the ground. It can also haul troops and products and in some cases carry an array of wea