Death toll rises to 16 in US military plane crash
A military transport plane crashed Monday in the U.S. state of Mississippi, which has killed 16 people, a local official said.
Fred Randle, director of emergency management of LeFlore County, said 16 bodies have been recovered from the crash site in central Mississippi.
"A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 mishap occurred in the evening of July 10," the Marine Corps tweeted.
The incident took place at around 4 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) when the plane crashed into a soybean field in the delta region of the southern state of Mississippi, said local police who announced earlier that at least five of the nine people onboard were killed.
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, but some news outlets said the plane, which took off from Memphis and was carrying ammunition, exploded in mid-air.
"There's a lot of ammo on the plane. That's why we are keeping so far back," a soldier at the site was quoted by local WMC Action News as saying.
The incident came less than a week after a military lab in Florida's Eglin Air Force Base exploded, leaking 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.