U.S. military plane crashes in training exercise

U.S. military plane crashes in training exercise
At least five people died when a Puerto Rico Air National Guard weather reconnaissance plane crashed on Wednesday near Savannah, Georgia during a training flight, sending up thick clouds of black smoke, according to officials and television images. Ryan Brooks reports.

U.S. officials say a military plane crash near Savannah, Georgia likely killed all nine people aboard on Wednesday.

One source said that at least five were confirmed dead and that the number of fatalities may rise.

A witness told local TV the plane was upside down before it crashed.

The plane sent up a billowing black cloud of smoke with its tail wing sitting in the middle of a highway.

It was a Puerto Rico Air National Guard cargo aircraft and went down on a training flight around 11:30 a.m. after taking off from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

It was a weather reconaissance version of the C-130 long used by the U.S. military.

It’s used to penetrate storms and hurricanes to gather data.

A spokesman for Puerto Rico’s National Guard said the plane was basically on its last flight heading to Arizona to be retired.

The cause of the crash is under an Air Force investigation.

Local police told reporters it was “an absolute miracle” that no vehicles were hit in the busy intersection where the plane went down.

A spokesperson for the Air National Guard said the names of the deceased would be released after next-of-kin are notified.