11 Jul 2017

Sixteen dead after US military plane crashes in Mississippi

6:10 pm on 11 July 2017

At least 16 people have died after a US military plane crashed in rural Mississippi, local emergency services have confirmed.

A US Marines KC-130 transport aircraft.

A US Marines KC-130 transport aircraft. Photo: File photo / AFP

The crash happened in LeFlore County, about 160km north of Jackson, the state capital, at about 4pm local time.

All 16 victims were on the Marine Corps aircraft and there were no survivors, Leflore County emergency management director Fred Randle said.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said the incident was a "tragedy".

"Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom," he said.

No official details were immediately available on the circumstances of the crash.

Mississippi outlet the Clarion-Ledger said the plane came down in a soybean field on the Sunflower-Leflore county line, and left a five-mile trail of debris. It said the FBI was assisting at the scene.

Local Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth that firefighters were driven back by several "high-intensity explosions", possibly caused by jet fuel igniting. He said 4000 gallons of foam were sprayed at the aircraft in a bid to subdue the fire.

Captain Sarah Burns, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps, said only that a US Marines KC-130 Hercules transport aircraft had "experienced a mishap".