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Sixteen military personnel died in the crash of a KC-123T that went down in western Mississippi while on a training flight on Monday.
The aircraft, which can be used to move troops as well as conduct mid-air refueling, was moving equipment, fifteen Marines, and a Navy Corpsman from Cherry Point, North Carolina to California when the incident occurred.
The aircraft disappeared from radar and went down 85 miles north of Jackson near US 82. Just prior to the crash, a witness said that he had heard a loud bang, then saw the aircraft spiraling down, engine trailing smoke. The aircraft crashed in a rural soybean field.
President Trump tweeted his condolences, saying, “Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!”
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee, Senator Thom Tillis, said in a statement, “Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in service to our nation. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and the Havelock community are in our thoughts and prayers. This is a tragic reminder of the dangers our servicemembers are confronted with on a daily basis, including the training missions that are needed to help keep our nation safe at home and abroad.”
The cause of the crash and the identities of those killed in the crash has yet to be released.