PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on a military cargo plane crash in Georgia (all times local):
The U.S. military has launched its investigation into the crash of a C-130 cargo plane that killed nine Puerto Rican airmen after takeoff in Georgia.
Col. Pete Boone of the Georgia Air National Guard told reporters Thursday that investigators will “use every resource at our disposal to identify a cause.”
Boone said the military has also confirmed all nine airmen on board died when the large aircraft plunged onto a highway near Savannah, causing a large fireball and explosion. He said families of the dead are being notified.
Boone said the plane was in Savannah for “routine maintenance” and crashed after taking off for Arizona.
Officials with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard have said the aircraft was 60 years old, but Boone said its age was closer to 40.
The pilot of a military transport plane that crashed in coastal Georgia has been identified as the father of two young boys.
The mayor of Manati, along Puerto Rico’s north coast, said Maj. Jose Rafael Roman was the pilot. Mayor Jose Sanchez said Roman’s wife is five months pregnant with a baby girl.
The mayor said, “The town is in mourning.”
The entire nine-member crew was killed when the C-130 Hercules from Puerto Rico’s National Guard crashed Wednesday morning onto a Georgia highway.
It was supposed to be the plane’s final flight before being retired in Arizona.
Puerto Rico’s National Guard commander says the plane that crashed onto a Georgia highway and killed its entire crew was more than 60 years old.
Adjutant General Isabelo Rivera says the aging C-130 Hercules had been used to rescue and resupply U.S. citizens after last year’s hurricanes, among many other missions.
Nine Puerto Ricans were on board Wednesday for what was supposed to be its final flight before being retired in Arizona.
Rivera says the U.S. territory’s planes are the oldest on inventory among National Guard aircraft nationwide.
He says it’s too early to say what might have caused the plane to drop out of the sky. It came down so hard that its tail was the only section still intact.
This story has been corrected to say in the 9 a.m. item that the crash was Wednesday, not Thursday.