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Mississippi Plane Crash Investigation Underway

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Mississippi -

Military investigators will try to determine what caused a plane crash that killed 16 service members in rural Mississippi. The KC-130 went down Monday in a bean field, and the wreckage burned overnight. The Marine Corps says only that the refueling and transport plan experienced a "mishap". Bodies were found more than a mile away from the main crash site.

When rescue crews arrived, heavy flames and a smoldering wreck were all that remained of the Marine Corps Reserve Transport Aircraft. Crews rushed to put out the fire and search for survivors. At least 16 were killed.

LeFlore Sergeant Fred Randle says the area around the crash is still unsafe, so they're keeping all non-responders out.

The plane, a KC-130 4-engine turbo prop plane, was being tracked by air traffic controllers in nearby Memphis. At 20,000 feet, it suffered a catastrophic failure and plunged out of the sky. Once it started to fall, the plane went radio silent.

The KC-130 can be used to refuel other planes in midair and often carries additional fuel as a result.

Witnesses say the aircraft caught fire and spun as it fell. Bodies were found throughout the surrounding area. Plumes of thick black smoke could be seen for miles.

The F.B.I. was on the scene that night. The airplane was still partially intact, indicating to experts that it is unlikely an explosion that brought the plane down.

A board of investigators will now most likely be involved and will look to accomplish two things: to see if anyone is at fault, and how to prevent this from happening in the future.
 

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