Marine aircraft disaster: What we know

A U.S. military plane crashed in a Mississippi soybean field on Monday afternoon, killing at least 16 people. Here’s what we know about the incident and the victims.

What happened?

A Marine Corps KC-130, which originated from Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, went down at about 4 p.m. local time in Leflore County, the Marine Corps said Tuesday in a statement. It said the cause of the crash isn’t known.

The refueling aircraft spread debris for miles and created fiery wreckage.

Who were the victims?

The Marine Corps said that 16 service members died. 

“The identities of the service members whose lives were lost in this tragic accident are being withheld to allow time for their loved ones to be notified,” the statement said, indicating that more information would later be released.

Richard Spencer, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next secretary of the Navy, told lawmakers Tuesday that 15 Marines and 1 sailor were killed.

The aircraft was with the Marine 4th Aircraft Wing, an Office of U.S. Marines Corps Communication spokeswoman told Fox News. It is a reserve airwing.

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. 


What has the response been?

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the incident was “heartbreaking,” and that he and First Lady Melania Trump “send our deepest condolences to all!”

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that he and his wife Karen Pence “are praying for the families of the Marines who lost their lives.” Others also offered their condolences.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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