LEFLORE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Several agencies are investigating a deadly United States Marine Corps (USMC) plane crash that happened in Leflore County on Monday afternoon.
Sixteen service members died when the plane went down in a field; 15 were Marines and one service member was a Navy corpsman, officials said.
According to WNCT, seven of the service members were based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
We’re told the flight itself did not originate from Cherry Point, North Carolina. But that leg of the Marine Corps KC-130T flight did start in North Carolina. Officials with the Marine Corps are working to notify the family members of those on board before releasing more details about the plane’s flight schedule.
Officials said the aircraft that crashed was from Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve.
They were supporting a requirement to transport personnel and equipment to Naval Air Field El Centro, California. USMC officials said equipment on board included various small arms ammunition and personal weapons.
According to the USMC, federal aviation officials say the aircraft disappeared from air traffic control radar. The cause of the crash remained under investigation Tuesday morning.
Tuesday morning the Leflore County coroner came to the scene with several body bags. She told WJTV that they were still retrieving bodies.
None of the 16 service members killed have been identified. USMC officials are working to notify their families.
The Marine Corps issued a statement that says in part:
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.
Several state, local and national authorities have offered their condolences to the families of the service members.
President Donald Trump also issued a statement offering condolences to the families of the sixteen service members who were killed.
We will continue following this story throughout the day. Stay with WJTV 12 as we get you answers on the investigation from Leflore County.