WASHINGTON – A military transport plane crashed Monday in the US state of Mississippi, killing at least 16 people on board, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
“A US Marine Corps KC-130 mishap occurred on the evening of July 10,” the Marine Corps tweeted.
The incident took place at around 4 pm local time (2100 GMT) in the delta region of the southern state of Mississippi, local police said, adding that at least five of the nine people onboard were dead.
A helicopter was searching for others around the crash site, a soybean field, Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said.
Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks said debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about 8 km and images from the site showed plumes of dark smoke coming from the burning wreckage.
The Marine Corps is yet to reveal the cause of the crash.
The incident came less than a week after a military lab in Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base exploded, ejecting a large amount of methyl chloride but causing no severe injuries.
The KC-130, a transport plane manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is mostly used to transport personnel, equipment as well as fuel after being modified.