A crew of nine Puerto Ricans were killed when a military cargo plane crashed near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport minutes after takeoff, sending black smoke billowing into the sky.
The C-130 is a transport workhorse for the U.S. military, and Parsons described the crashed aircraft as a cargo plane.
The huge plane came down so hard that the only part still intact was its tail section, said Chris Hanks, a spokesman for the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows video of the cargo plane taking off and nose-diving before a cloud of thick black smoke appeared.
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All were from Puerto Rico, officials said.
The Air Force said the plane belonged to the 156th Air Wing out of Puerto Rico, and all aboard were Puerto Ricans on a mission to the USA mainland.
Close to the airport of the city of Savannah in the US state of Georgia crashed aircraft of the National guard of the United States.
"It was basically its last flight", Dahlen said.
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"As far we know there were no cars hit in this crash, it is an absolute miracle at that time or day and that intersection", said Gena Bilbo, Public Information Officer at Effingham County Sheriff's Office, during a press conference. The National Guard tweeted that it will look into the incident. "The aeroplane just took off and quickly fell", said Brig.
A line of C-130 Hercules aircraft prepares to depart Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 5 for mass tactical training.
The governor's statement says the names of the victims are being withheld pending notification of their families.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, and firefighters were still working to make the crash site safe for investigators, Georgia Air National Guard Senior Master Sergeant Roger Parsons said. "They will receive our support and that of the National Guard of Puerto Rico in this process". The plane then headed straight down behind trees.
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Chatham County Deputy Coroner Tiffany Williams says police tell her two people have been killed in the crash of a military cargo plane near an airport in Savannah, Georgia. A Marine general said a year ago that it appeared "something went wrong at cruise altitude".