U.S. Marine, Navy Plane Crash Victims

Sixteen military service members were killed Monday evening in an airplane crash in Leflore County, Mississippi, according to the U.S. Marine Corps.

The corps said in a news release that the crew and passengers consisted of 15 Marines and one Navy corpsman.

“The Marine aircraft that crashed Monday evening was a KC-130T from Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve,” the statement said.

The flight originated from the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, “as the squadron was supporting a requirement to transport personnel and equipment from there” to the Naval Air Field in El Centro, California.

Because equipment on board included various small arms ammunition and personal weapons, an explosive ordnance disposal team was dispatched to the scene “as a precaution in the interest of safety,” the Marines said.

“The identities of the personnel whose lives were lost in this tragic accident are still being withheld to allow time for their loved ones to be notified appropriately. While the details of the incident are being investigated, our focus remains on providing the necessary resources and support to the family and friends of these service members as they go through this extremely difficult time,” the statement said.

Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, released a statement Tuesday:

“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 Mississippi. Please keep the families of our 16 fallen service members in your thoughts and prayers.

“Our focus remains on notifying and supporting the families while we conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of this tragedy."

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