Plane crash kills all 16 U.S. Marines onboard

Debris spread across Mississippi highway

A U.S. Marine Corps transport aircraft crashed in a Mississippi soybean field on Monday afternoon. The crash killed all 16 on board. They were flying a KC-130, an aircraft used by the Marine Corps to refuel planes in the air and carry assorted cargo. The flight originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, and had made a stop in Memphis, Tennessee before the second leg of their flight in which they crashed. The cause of the crash is being investigated, as Federal Aviation Administration officials say that the aircraft at one point disappeared from air traffic control radar. The plane crash site is just off of U.S. Route 82, with debris on both sides of the highway.

Officials have yet to reveal the names of those who perished in the crash, or the reason behind their flight in that area. “While the details of the incident are being investigated, our focus remains on providing the necessary resources and support to the family and friends of these service members as they go through this extremely difficult time,” the Marines said in a press release. Similar condolences came from government officials, including President Donald Trump, who called the crash “heartbreaking” on Twitter. Republican Senator Thad Cochran, who represents the state of Mississippi, wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened by the loss of life in today’s @USMC KC-130 crash in the Mississippi Delta. Our thoughts & prayers are w/everyone involved.” Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, took a moment to recognize others in the armed services: “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.”

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