by Ryan Pickrell
A Puerto Rico Air National Guard WC-130 military transport aircraft nosedived shortly after takeoff in Savannah, Ga., Wednesday, ending the lives of the nine people on board.
The plane went down off Highway 21, creating a massive fireball when it hit. Witnesses told reporters that it sounded like a bomb going off when the fatal crash occurred.
The aircraft was flying from Savannah to Tuscon, Arizona, where it was to be decommissioned, when it crashed.
“To our knowledge, at this point, there are no survivors,” Gena Bilbo, spokeswoman for the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, revealed, according to The New York Times. Nine names were reportedly listed on the flight manifest (the National Guard previously reported that there were only five on board).
“Nine crew members died in the accident, but until their families and relatives are notified, we cannot give their names,” Brigadier General Isabelo Rivera, the adjutant general of Puerto Rico, told reporters late Wednesday evening, according to CNN. All of the deceased were from Puerto Rico.
The transport aircraft was on its final flight, as the aging plane was over 50 years old. It had spent a month in Savannah for maintenance prior to Wednesday’s accident. The governor of Georgia held a moment of silence for those who perished in Wednesday’s crash.
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