A Marine Corps KC-130 transport aircraft crashed in LeFlore County, Mississippi, on July 10 at approximately 4 p.m. CDT, claiming the lives of 16 service members. The flight originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. Federal Aviation Administration officials contacted the Marine Corps when the aircraft disappeared from air traffic control radar over Mississippi. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time; the incident is under investigation. The crew and passengers consisted of 15 Marines and one Navy Corpsman. Equipment on board included various small arms ammunition and personal weapons. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is at the scene as a precaution in the interest of safety.
“The identities of the service members whose lives were lost in this tragic accident are being withheld to allow time for their loved ones to be notified, according to the United States Marine Corps, 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.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence offered their condolences to the people who died in the crash.
“Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning.
“Karen & I are praying for the families of the Marines who lost their lives. These Marines will be in our hearts,” Pence also said on Twitter.
Andy Jones was working on his family’s catfish farm nearby the crash, and he stated hearing a boom while seeing the plane spinning downward with one engine smoking. Jones went on to state that he could not approach the downed plane because the fire was too intense.
The investigation is ongoing at the time of this report.