(CNN) Most nine people aboard an getting older cargo plane making its last military flight Wednesday were wiped out when the aircraft nosedived into a Atlanta highway.
The plane involved in Wednesday’s crash had been at least 50 years old, according to the official familiar with the aircraft.
“Nine crew members passed away in the accident, but until their own families and relatives are notified, all of us cannot give their names, inch Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera stated. “Our prayers, thoughts and condolences to the families and loved ones in our aviators. ”
One witness said the plane produced a “loud, strange noise” right before the crash. Another said the earth shook as if a bomb proceeded to go off when it hit.
Video from a company near the crash shows the terrible final moments of the hulking airplane, a version normally outfitted to do climate reconnaissance.
The jet, with four turboprop engines on its overhead side, banks left as it comes down. The airplane then heads straight down behind trees and shrubs. Seconds later a fireball plus thick black smoke appear.
Puerto Rico’s governor sent his condolences.
“While we are awaiting more information regarding this unfortunate incident, my thoughts and those of Beatriz are with the families of the team. They will receive our support which of the National Guard of Puerto Rico in this process, ” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said.
President Donald Trump messaged his support.
“Please join me in ideas and prayers for the victims, their own families and the great men and women of the Nationwide Guard, ” he said.
All the airmen were from Puerto Rico, authorities said.
See calls pilot a hero
Truck drivers Roger Best works for a transport company in Garden City, regarding 4 miles south of the accident, and saw the plane overhead prior to it plummeted. It was so lower when it passed over that it rumbled the ground beneath his rig, he or she said.
His company handles hazardous components, he said, expressing gratitude the aircraft didn’t crash in his instant vicinity.
“If he did this region is a giant bomb and this entire (five-mile) radius would have blown up, inch he told CNN over Fb, calling the pilot a leading man for avoiding the area. “He hardly made it over the tree line (and it) looked as if he attempted to turn and nose dive directly into the ground right in front of me. inch
Christian Freeman saw the WC-130 go down, he or she said. First, he heard the “loud, strange noise, ” this individual said.
“I looked over to my right plus seen the plane at very low h?he and making a hard left consider the ground, ” he said.
This happened so quickly, he did not have a chance to pull his mobile phone out until after it cracked, Freeman said.
“It was horrible, ” stated Denver Goodwin, who works in a wrecker service down the street from the accident. “The ground shook like a explosive device was going off. All the individuals in the building started panicking. It had been absolutely horrible. ”
Mary Hennessy Cogar had been at her place of employment in Backyard City and said she sensed the impact.
“Our building shook as well as the lights flickered. We heard the boom of the crash and then an even louder boom of the explosion, ” the lady said.
A tweet from the Savannah Expert Firefighters Association showed the end of the plane protruding from dense smoke and fire.
There were no injuries on a lawn.
“As considerably as we know, no cars were strike, which is an absolute miracle, ” stated Gena Bilbo, spokeswoman for the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash happened a few miles away from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, off state Road 21, airport spokeswoman Candace Father said.
Cause of crash not however known
Maj. Paul Dahlen said the airplane, from the 156th Airlift Wing within Puerto Rico, had been in Savannah for “a number of days” going through routine maintenance before heading to the particular Aerospace Regeneration and Maintenance Team in Arizona.
“We don’t know the cause of the accident, ” he said.
The WC-130 is really a variant of the C-130. Produced constantly since 1954, the C-130 is really a reliable and versatile aircraft along with several iterations. It can be outfitted designed for transport, reconnaissance, search and save, research, refueling, patrol or as being a gunship.
Last month, the chairman of the home Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac pc Thornberry, released a statement stating the ” preparedness of the military is at a crisis stage
” after reports that will 16 American service members have been killed in noncombat aircraft accidents over a matter of weeks.
Last summertime, the Marine Corps ground its fleet associated with KC-130T aircraft
— another variant of the C-130, carrying out a crash that killed 15 Marine corps and one sailor in Mississippi.