ITTA BENA, Miss. — Six Marines and a sailor from Camp Lejenue were among the 16 people killed when a military plane crashed into a soybean field in rural Mississippi Monday, Marine Corps officials said Tuesday.
Leflore County, Miss., Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Randle told reporters at a briefing late Monday that 16 bodies had been recovered after the KC-130 spiraled into the ground about 85 miles north of Jackson in the Mississippi Delta. A witness said some bodies were found more than a mile from the crash site.
Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns said in a statement that a KC-130 “experienced a mishap” Monday evening but provided no details. The KC-130 is used as a refueling tanker.
Though the KC-130 refueling tanker took off from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, Marine Capt. John Roberts said the plane was under the command of the 4th Marine Air Wing, which is part of the Marine Forces Reserve headquartered in New Orleans.
The aircraft was transporting the group for routine small unit pre-deployment training at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
All seven from Camp Lejeune were members of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, officials said.
The identities of the deceased were being withheld to allow time for notification of their next of kin.