servicemen have died after the military plane carrying them went down in rural Mississippi
, police say.
There were 16 people on board the Marine Corps KC-130 when it crashed Monday afternoon in a soybean field in Leflore County, leaving a debris field five miles in radius.
“A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10. Further information will be released as available,” the US Marine Corps Twitter account said immediately after the incident.
Officials said they had recovered 12 bodies from the crash site.
“Most of them are going to be Marines,” Leflore County EMA Director Frank Randle, adding he did not assess there were any civilian casualties resulting from the crash.
Marine Corps spokeswoman Lt. Kristine Rascicot also confirmed the crash but refused to release more details.
Police and rescue teams gather near a KC-130 crash site in rural Mississippi, July 10, 2017. (Photo by Clarion-Ledger)
The Lockheed Martin KC-130 aircraft is an extended-range tanker variant of the famous Lockheed C-130 Hercules, modified for aerial refueling operations.
Aircraft based on the C-130 Hercules have four turboprop engines and are primarily used for military transportation.
The aircraft also has a heavily-armed AC-130 variant that carries a wide array of anti-ground weapons. The latest notable use of the weapon was in October 2015, when the gunship “mistakenly” attacked a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.