A Marine Corps KC-130 plane crashed after a “mishap,” with witnesses saying the plane “disintegrated in the air,” on Monday in Mississippi, killing 16 service members.
The refueling plane crashed in a soybean field in LeFlore County after originating from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Marine Corps, which was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when the plane “disappeared from air control radar over Mississippi.”
A local news station said debris was found “on either side of the highway, indicating a possible mid-air explosion,” according to NBC.
— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) July 11, 2017
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that “Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!”
The New York Times reported that witnesses said the plane “disintegrated in the air,” and it was estimated that the debris extended about three miles in diameter.
The Marine Corps said it was not releasing the identities of the service members killed at this time, pending notification of their families.
The crash is being investigated, and the FBI is reportedly joining in the efforts to figure out what happened.