By: Zack Duvall
A soybean field in rural Mississippi was the site of a deadly crashed that resulted in the death of 16 U.S. service members, and spread debris around a 5 mile radius from the scene of the crash.
Leflore County Emergency Management Agency Director, Frank Randle, confirmed during a news briefing that 16 bodies had been recovered by rescue workers, with some witnesses saying at least one of the bodies was recovered over a mile from the crash site.
Andy Jones, a witness who was working on his family’s catfish farm, described the plane as “twirling” before crashing to the ground with so much force it caused the plane to flatten itself on impact.
“You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around. It was spinning down.” Jones told reporters Monday night. He also said that he watched as emergency personnel tried to rush to the scene, but were turned back because of numerous “violent explosions”.
The plane involved in the crash was a KC-130, a refueling plane that was loaded with fuel when it crashed. The KC-130 has been used by every branch of the military and is often used for hurricane hunting and as a troop transport in many areas of the world. It is considered, by many experts, to be one of the safest planes in service today.
No cause of the crash was immediately reported, and Marine Corps spokesperson Sara Burns only responded via written statement and said the plane “experienced a mishap.”
President Trump has offered his “deepest condolences” and called the crash “heartbreaking” in a post on Twitter about the tragedy.
The KC-130 and 16 service members killed were stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.