US Air National Guard C-130 Crashes In Georgia, Killing Five

Hannah Rogers
May 3, 2018

The military says 9 people are dead after a C-130 "Hercules" plane belonging to the Puerto Rico National Guard crashed outside the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia at 11:28 a.m., according to Georgia Air National Guard Captain Jeffrey E. Bezore.

Senior Master Sergeant Roger Parsons, an Air Force spokesman, said at a news conference that the cause of the crash was under investigation.

The cargo plane was engulfed in flames and smoke down at 21 and Gulfstream Road, in Savannah, Georgia.

A spokesman for the Georgia Air National Guard, Captain Jeffrey Before, said in a statement that five people were on the plane when it crashed.

The 60-year-old plane, which was being repaired in Savannah before it took off Wednesday morning, had been used in relief efforts for several hurricanes in the Caribbean, including Hurricane Maria last fall.

Video from a business near the crash shows the horrifying final moments of the hulking plane, a version normally outfitted to do weather reconnaissance.

"As far as we know, there were no cars hit in this crash", Ms. Bilbo said. "This is a very busy roadway". The fuselage appeared to have struck the median, and pieces of its wings, which spanned 132 feet (40 metres), were scattered across lanes in both directions.

Smoke billows at the site of a military plane crash in Savannah, Ga., on May 2, 2018.

We add that the aircraft were based in Puerto Rico and was heading to a military base in Arizona to participate in the exercises.

A spokesperson for the National Guard could not immediately be reached.

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The plane had five people on board, Georgia National Guard spokeswoman Desiree Bamba said.

All the airmen were from Puerto Rico, officials said.

There are eight of them based at Dobbins Air Force Base, and the planes are made and tested at Lockheed Martin, just as they have been for decades. Of these, five were crew members and four were passengers.

"This pains us", Rivera said of the deaths.

The plane involved in Wednesday's crash was at least 50 years old, according to an official familiar with the aircraft.

"The explosion- it was indescribable".

"I could see [the plane] above the tree line and it looked kind of low like it was curving in toward street, but I see them all the time, so I didn't think anything of it", Jones said. "When it rolled upside down, it did a complete straight turn into the ground".

"Our prayers are with the families of the Puerto Rican crew".

US President Donald Trump later tweeted he had been briefed on the incident and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

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