16 dead in Marine KC-130 crash in Mississippi - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

16 dead in Marine KC-130 crash in Mississippi

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LEFLORE CO., MS (WMC) -

Sixteen people are dead following a Marine Corps airplane crash in Mississippi, according to authorities at the crash site.

The KC-130 Hercules plane crashed in Leflore County, just off Highway 82, on Monday afternoon.

The plane is believed to have exploded in mid-air. Investigators said they found debris on both sides of the highway, leading them to believe an explosion happened prior to the crash.

A Mississippi State Trooper said the plane is loaded with ammunition, causing emergency workers to have to keep their distance.

"There's a lot of ammo in the plane. That's why we are keeping so far back. We just don't know what it'll do. It burns a bit then goes out, burns a little more then dies down," the trooper told WMC Action News 5 crews.

The United States Marine Corps confirmed the aircraft was a Marine aircraft.

Officials confirmed the plane came from the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued this statement on the crash:

"Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in service to our nation. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and the Havelock community are in our thoughts and prayers. This is a tragic reminder of the dangers our servicemembers are confronted with on a daily basis, including the training missions that are needed to help keep our nation safe at home and abroad."

President Trump tweeted out his condolences Tuesday morning:

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant asked everyone to pray for those impacted by this tragedy.

Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy. Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom.

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued a statement on the crash.

“I am saddened by the terrible plane crash this evening in Mississippi that took the lives of five soldiers serving our country. My thoughts go out to the families of the deceased, and I hope for the survival of the others on board.”

Officials held a press conference late Monday night where they confirmed the fatalities and that the crash site is still unsafe.

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