MISSISSIPPI (AFP): All 16 people aboard a KC-130 military refueling tanker were killed in a crash about 85 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi, on Monday afternoon, according to a WZTV report.
A Marine Corps spokesperson said that the aircraft “experienced a mishap,” but provided no details as of Monday evening.
However, an official from Mississippi’s Greenwood Airport said the aircraft was being tracked by air traffic controllers and was affected by structural failure at 20,000 feet, according to WNCN.
Firefighters were battling flames ignited by jet fuel. Helicopters were also said to be searching the crash site, where debris was scattered in a radius of 5 miles. “We were driven away by several high-intensity explosions,” said Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks.
All 16 bodies were reportedly recovered from the crash site. The KC-130 is powered by four engines and six-bladed propellers, has a primary duty of refueling other aircraft and ground vehicles, and can hold up to 61,364 pounds of fuel.