(FOX NEWS) - The FBI has reportedly joined local and state agencies to investigate what caused a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 to corkscrew out of the sky and into a soybean field in Mississippi, killing 16.
The military plane was traveling from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. The station is about 115 miles southeast of Raleigh and about 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Though the KC-130 refueling tanker took off from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, 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. Fifteen Marines died in the plane crash. The other victim was a Navy Corpsman.
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.
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released a statement:
"Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in service to our nation. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and the Havelock community are in our thoughts and prayers. This is a tragic reminder of the dangers our servicemembers are confronted with on a daily basis, including the training missions that are needed to help keep our nation safe at home and abroad."
U.S. Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) released a statement:
“The loss of 15 US Marines and 1 Sailor in yesterday’s tragic plane crash in Mississippi is devastating. With a heavy heart we are sending our thoughts and are prayers to the families and loved ones of the service members lost. My condolences are with everyone who is touched by this grievous news.”
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