In an unfortunate incident involving the crash of a Marine Corps airplane, 16 people onboard were left dead when the aircraft crashed into a field in rural Mississippi on Monday, July 10. According to an official, the crash resulted in debris spreading for miles. The news was announced on Twitter by the Marine Corps, however, the organization refrained from providing details of the mishap.

Several casualties in plane crash

At a briefing, Frank Randle, the director of Leflore County Emergency Management, told reporters that 16 bodies were recovered from the crash site after the Marine Corps plane KC-139 spiraled down to the ground.

The plane eventually crashed 85 miles north of Jackson in the Mississippi Delta. Capt. Sarah Burns, spokeswomen from the Marine Corps stated that the KC-130 airplane “experienced a mishap”, however she refrained from providing further details about the incident. For the unfamiliar, the KC-130 military plane was used as a refueling tanker.

Eye witnesses recount crash

One of the eye witnesses, Andy Jones, said that he saw the KC-130 plane corkscrewing downward to the ground with smoke coming out from one engine just before 4 p.m. in the evening. Jones was working outside on his family’s catfish farm when the crash took place. Jones was quoted saying that he saw “the plane twirling around” while it was “spinning down” toward the ground.

According to Jones, the plane crashed into the ground, behind some trees. However, by the time Jones and other people reached the site, the fire was burning with a lot of intensity, which prevented people from approaching the wreckage. Jones stated that the force, with which the plane crashed into the ground nearly flattened the aircraft.

He further added that the beans - which were about waist high - were the only things that stood from the wreckage.

A man informed the authorities using Jones’s phone to report that there were bodies strewn across the U.S. Highway 82, which is more than a mile away from the crash site. Fire Chief of Greenwood Marcus Banks shared that the debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about five miles from the site.

According to Jones, the fire fighters tried their best to control and put out the flames; however, an explosion forced them to push back further. Officials are yet to release information as to what caused the Marine Corps airplane to crash or from where the aircraft had taken off.