ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP/NBC) – A Marine spokesman says a Navy corpsman and 15 Marines were killed in when a military plane crashed in rural Mississippi as it was headed from North Carolina to California. Marine Corps Maj. Andrew Aranda says Tuesday that the flight of the KC-130T originated Monday from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.
The plane was taking people and equipment to Naval Air Field El Centro, California, when it crashed Monday afternoon in a soybean field near Itta Bena, Mississippi.
Aranda says many of the Marines were from a unit based in New York with active duty and reserve members. The Marine Corps says personal weapons and small-arms ammunition were aboard.
Capt. John Roberts said Tuesday that the plane was under the command of the 4th Marine Air Wing, which is part of the Marine Forces Reserve, headquartered in New Orleans.
Lt. Col. Tanya Murnock says the names of the 16 people killed in the crash are being withheld while loved ones are notified.
The KC-130 spiraled into a soybean field about 4 p.m. Monday, spreading debris for miles and resulting in fiery wreckage that burned for hours.