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:
President Trump tweeted out his condolences Tuesday morning:
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant asked everyone to pray for those impacted by this tragedy.
Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued a statement on the crash.
Officials held a press conference late Monday night where they confirmed the fatalities and that the crash site is still unsafe.