US military plane crashes in Mississippi; 16 dead

By Reuters   July 11, 2017 | 12:03 pm GMT+7
US military plane crashes in Mississippi; 16 dead
A KC-130 Hercules with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Rein.), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepares to refuel a CH-53E Super Stallion during air refueling training in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, March 14, 2013. Picture taken March 14, 2013 U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John Robbart III/Handout via Reuters

No official details are immediately available.

At least 16 people were killed when a U.S. military plane crashed in rural Mississippi on Monday evening, a regional emergency management official said.

No official details were immediately available on the circumstances of the crash in northern Mississippi's LeFlore County, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Jackson, the state capital.

Captain Sarah Burns, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps, said only that a U.S. Marines KC-130 Hercules transport aircraft had "experienced a mishap," with news media initially reporting five confirmed deaths.

Several hours later, Fred Randle, LeFlore County director of emergency management, told Reuters that at least 16 people had perished. Randle gave no further details of the incident.

The incident was a "tragedy", Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement on social media site Facebook, but provided no details.

Images posted online by news organizations showed the crumpled wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames in a field surrounded by tall vegetation, with a large plume of smoke in the sky above the crash site.