A military transport plane that was being used on a training flight crashed in MS on Monday, killing 16 military service members, the Marine Forces Reserve has confirmed. He said the fire was punctuated by the pops of small explosions.
The plane crashed in a field of soybean, according to the newspaper, which published pictures showing a thick plume of smoke rising from a field and rescue teams.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said the incident was a "tragedy", but provided no other details.
The commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller said: "On behalf of the entire Marine Corps, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the aircraft mishap yesterday afternoon in MS,". The KC-130 is used as a refueling tanker.
Austin Jones, who owns a neighboring farm, said the fire continued after sunset.
The identities of those killed are not being disclosed, pending notification of next of kin.
Stay with Local 4 and ClickonDetroit.com as more information becomes available about fallen service member Julian Kevianne.
The incident was reported at around 4 pm local time and the debris from the plabe was reportedly scattered in a radius of about 5 miles (8 kilometers), according to Reuters.
Local catfish farmer Andy Jones described the force of the crash as almost flattening the plane, which he said could barely be seen above the waist-high bean crop.
"[The plane] was spinning down", Jones told The Associated Press late Monday.
Since the crash, several politicians have offered their condolences, including the president.
-Mississippi U.S. Senator Thad Cochran also tweeted his condolences saying "Deeply saddened the loss of life in today's @USMC KC-130 crash in the Mississippi Delta".
He spoke to reporters about the crash on Tuesday at a staging site in Itta Bena. And while the FBI has joined the crash investigation, a Marine spokesman says no foul play is suspected.