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16 People Dead After Marine Plane Crashes In Mississippi

Local officials said all 16 victims were onboard the military KC-130 aircraft when it crashed in rural Mississippi Monday afternoon, leaving no survivors.

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Sixteen people were confirmed dead Monday, after a military airplane crashed in rural Mississippi.

EXCLUSIVE SKYCOPTER VIDEO: Military C-130 crashes on Leflore/Sunflower County line; Four bodies recovered… https://t.co/YFWITMbESc

During a brief interview with BuzzFeed News on Monday evening, Fred Randle, the emergency management director in Leflore County, Mississippi, said that all 16 of the victims had been onboard the Marine aircraft when it crashed.

Investigators were still working to locate the bodies late on Monday night, but confirmed that no one survived the crash, Randle said.

A spokesperson for the Marine Corps said Monday that the aircraft "experienced a mishap," but would not provide additional information about the plane's route or passengers.

A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10. Further information will be released as available.

The KC-130 is a four-engine propeller-driven aircraft that can be used to refuel other planes in midair, as well as to carry troops, equipment, and weapons.

The plane, a KC-130, crashed into a field near the Leflore-Sunflower county line, in central Mississippi, around 4:30 p.m. Images from social media and local news reports showed clouds of smoke billowing above the crash site.

#Breaking: Reports of #military C-130 crash in Leflore County, #Mississippi. Reports say there were 8 passengers; 6… https://t.co/1w0kenxbLC

The cause of the crash remains unclear. Debris from the incident covered a wide area, WLBT reported, which investigators said suggests there may have been an explosion on the plane before it crashed.

Local resident Andy Jones told the Associated Press that he was working on his family's catfish farm when he heard a loud boom, and saw the plane smoking and spiraling to the ground.

"You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around," Jones said. "It was spinning down." By the time he and other witnesses arrived at the crash site, he said, the wreckage was burning too intensely to approach.

"It was one of the worst fires you can imagine," Jones said. The fire continued to explode after the crash, prompting some emergency responders to suggest that the plane may have been carrying ammunition.

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The president responded to the news in a tweet offering his condolences Tuesday.

Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/884746435039768576

By late Monday night, multiple agencies, including the FBI and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, were working at the scene of the crash.

JUST IN: Authorities in Mississippi confirm there are fatalities after Marine Corps plane crashes in LeFlore County… https://t.co/38xdahrPgO

"We're still investigating, so we can't release any information yet," Randle told BuzzFeed News. "But we'll be working into the night, securing the scene and trying to figure out what happened."

Randle said the Emergency Management Agency would provide additional details at a noon press conference Tuesday.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant asked for prayers following the accident. "Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom," he said in a statement on Facebook.

Facebook: im4phil

US Senator Thad Cochran, also of Mississippi, said he was "deeply saddened by the loss of life" in the crash.

Deeply saddened by the loss of life in today's @USMC KC-130 crash in the Mississippi Delta. Our thoughts & prayers are w/everyone involved.

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, also tweeted his condolences.

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 #SemperFi

This is a developing story, check back here and follow BuzzFeed News for updates.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

Grace Wyler is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Grace Wyler at grace.wyler@buzzfeed.com.

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