16 Marines killed in plane crash in rural Mississippi
By Jennifer Cruz
Local residents described the tragedy as sounding like a thunderstorm, with several explosions. (Photo: Associated Press)
Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fiery plane crash and explosion Monday afternoon outside of Itta Bena, Mississippi, that claimed the lives of all 16 Marines aboard.
The United States Marine Corps confirmed in a press release the crew and passengers, which consisted of 15 Marines and one Navy Corpsman, were all killed. None of their names have been released, pending notification of next of kin.
Monday’s tragedy is said to be the worst aircraft disaster for the Marine Corps since 2005.
Officials confirmed the aircraft involved was a KC-130T from Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve. At the time of the crash, the plane was transporting personnel and equipment to the Naval Air Field in El Centro, California, from the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Aboard the aircraft was small arms ammunition and personal weapons.
Local catfish farmer Will Nobile described the crash as sounding like a big thunderstorm with several explosions. He said he walked outside only to witness a falling gray streak then rising black smoke.
Nobile said he drove toward