UPDATE: Fatal Flight Originated from Cherry Point MCAS

LEFLORE COUNTY, MS (Ben Caxton) — A Marine KC-130 that apparently exploded mid-air over Leflore County has left as many as 16 people dead according to Leflore County EMA Director Fred Randal. The main body of the plane came down in a field along Highway 82 on the Leflore-Sunflower county line shortly before 5:00 PM. Responders said debris was scattered along both sides of the highway, and Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth’s Tim Kalich that the debris field is about five miles in radius. Bodies were recovered up to a mile away from the actual crash site. The crash and subsequent explosions caused fires that proved difficult to extinguish. A Mississippi State Trooper told reporters on scene that he thought the plane may have been loaded with ammunition, causing emergency workers to have to keep their distance. Initial reports yesterday to first responders said the plane took off from Memphis had eight people on board. The US Marine Corps has confirmed however that the KC-130’s flight actually originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in eastern North Carolina. A US Marines Twitter account posted a tweet just before 7:30 CDT saying “A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10.” Governor Phil Bryant released a statement on his Facebook Page reading: “Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy. Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom.” President Trump has also weighed in tweeting that the accident is “heartbreaking” and sending condolences. [UPDATED to include new flight information and response from President Trump]


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