We will keep this story updated as we learn more facts.
UPDATE #4 7/11/17 8:40PM ET: The Marines issued an update on the crash. It is confirmed that 16 members of the military (15 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman) were killed in the accident. Here is the statement:
The Marine aircraft that crashed Monday evening was a KC-130T from Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve. The flight originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., as the squadron was supporting a requirement to transport personnel and equipment from there to Naval Air Field El Centro, Calif.
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 personnel whose lives were lost in this tragic accident are still being withheld to allow time for their loved ones to be notified appropriately. 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.
General Robert Neller, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also issued a statement. His tweet is below.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) July 11, 2017
UPDATE #3 7/10/17 10:40PM ET: WLOX (a TV station in Biloxi, MS) is reporting that 16 people were onboard the USMC KC-130 when it crashed in Leflore County, MS.
UPDATE #2 7/10/17 10:36PM ET: Video of the crash site (provided by KXAN’s Facebook page)
UPDATE #1 7/10/17 9:07PM ET: The US Marine Corps have issued a short statement that the C-130 that crashed was a USMC KC-130. Here is the tweet:
A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10. Further information will be released as available. pic.twitter.com/QEFhooJZmC
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) July 11, 2017
A C-130 with nine onboard, crashed in Leflore County, MS this afternoon, near the county line with Sunflower on Moorehead and Itta Bena Roads.
Investigators on scene speaking with local mainstream news affiliates report debris falling from the sky on both sides of the crash scene before impact, indicating the plane was already coming apart mid-air before the plane came crashing down into a farm field.
The local Sheriff confirmed shortly after 6pm EDT that they have recovered at least five bodies, and are actively searching for the others.
“Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy,” Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement on Facebook. “Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom.”
The C-130 reportedly departed from Naval Support Activity Mid-South, in Millington, Tennessee.
Military official have yet to comment.
We will update as more information comes.