16 U.S. Marines dead in Mississippi plane crash

MISSISSIPI – A U.S. Marine aircraft crashed in Mississippi on Monday night, killing all 16 military personnel on board, local authorities said.

The crash happened in LeFlore County, about 100 miles (160km) north of Jackson, the state capital.

The Marine Corps announced the incident on its Twitter account but did not provide details.

Investigators believe the plane exploded in mid-air.

Images posted online showed the crumpled wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames in a field surrounded by tall vegetation, with smoke bellowing from it.

The aircraft was a KC-130, one of the most extensively used planes in the military.

Secretary of the Interior and Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke tweeted his condolences saying: “Please join me in praying for or sending good thoughts to the families and unit of the Marines we lost tonight in the C 130 crash.”