An American military cargo plane collapsed on Wednesday with nine people aboard Georgia (South America) during its last flight before being shut down after 50 years of activity, France Presse reports on Tuesday, citing official sources.
Moment of crash in the video. Several television channels broadcast stunning images captured by a nearby surveillance camera. You can see how the plane falls behind a hangar, then explodes.
“We confirm that nine people were on board – five crew members and four passengers,” said a spokesman for the National Guard in Puerto Rico, Commander Paul Dahlen, stating that they were all members of the National Guard of Porto Rico.
He did not confirm that everyone died, as the images of the crash of the flying machine, a heap of ashes, “speak for themselves”.
The device, a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, belonging to the National Guard of Porto Rico, collapsed around 11:30 local time shortly after taking off near Savannah Hilton Head International Airport.
A first US Air Force balance sheet records five people aboard, a normal crew for this widely used machine used by the US military all over the world.
US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences. “Please join my thoughts and prayers for the victims, for their families, for the extraordinary men and women in the National Guard,” he wrote in a Twitter message.
Republican senator John McCain also urged “prayer for the families of the brave members of the National Guard,” the US Army reserve unit.
Commander Dahlen said the plane was over 50 years old and had just been reviewed in Savannah.
The machine had taken off to Tucson, Arizona, where it was to be assigned to the maintenance group 309 at the Davis Monthan Air Base, where the US Air Force’s largest cemetery was.
Accidents have multiplied in recent months in the US Air Force, affected in recent years by budget cuts, which has reduced training hours.
At the beginning of April, three military planes collapsed in just two days, battling at least four dead in Las Vegas (Nevada), California, and Djibouti.
According to a study by the Military Times, the number of military aircraft accidents increased by 40% between 2013 and 2017.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has achieved a record budget for the Pentagon this year, which will allow investments expected for many years, especially for the navy, overburdened in theaters of operations abroad, and for the air forces that are losing them at high speed its most experienced pilots, as they prefer more attractive salaries in the private sector.