US & Canada

Georgia plane crash: Nine dead after military plane comes down in US state

The tail of a military C-130 plane sticks up from the road as emergency crews work at the site of the crash in Georgia, USA, 2 May 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Firefighters and local teams secured the site of the crash

Nine people have been confirmed dead after a military cargo plane crashed in the US state of Georgia.

Everyone on board the C-130 plane was killed when it came down beside a highway near an airport in Savannah.

It belonged to Puerto Rico Air National Guard and was on its last flight as it was on route to be de-commissioned, the National Guard said.

Images shared on social media showed wreckage engulfed in flames and black smoke spewing into the sky.

"Nine crew members died in the accident, but until their families and relatives are notified we cannot give their names," Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Brig Gen Isabelo Rivera said in a statement.

He said the plane was on its way from Savannah to Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday to be placed in a strategic reserve holding area, as it was one of the oldest in the Guard's inventory.

Officials previously said that those on board were on a training flight. The plane crashed shortly after take-off.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Images showed the cargo plane in flames on a road in the coastal city of Savannah

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said that his thoughts were with the families of those involved while he waited for more information.

"They will receive our support and that of the National Guard of Puerto Rico in this process," he added.

In a tweet, US President Donald Trump said he was monitoring the situation.

"Please join me in thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the great men and women of the National Guard," he wrote.

One Instagram user, pilotgabe, posted a picture of the scene after the crash from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Firefighters were on the scene, tweeted the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association.

The local emergency management agency told drivers to avoid the area of the crash.

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