Officials: Names of military plane crash victims to be released - - Jackson, MS

Officials: Names of military plane crash victims to be released soon

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
ITTA BENA, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A press conference was held at 10 a.m. Wednesday by Brig. General Bradley S. James, Commanding General, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing about the crash of the KC-130T that happened on July 10 in Leflore County. 

The press conference was held at the Leflore County Business Development Center in Itta Bena, Mississippi. 

Fifteen Marines and one Navy Corpsman were killed in the crash that has been classified as the deadliest Marine Corps aviation mishap in 12 years. The plane, called the "Yanky 72", originated from Marine Air Refueler Transport Squadron 452 based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. 

Brig. General James said the mission of "Yanky 72" was to airlift a team from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command-specifically the 2nd Raider Battalion based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene, North Carolina.

The plane was headed to Naval Air Facility El Centro, California and then Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona by ground transport. 

Brig. General James said at about 4 pm on July 10, air traffic control lost radar contact with "Yanky 72". Shortly after, large plumes of smoke were seen in the Itta Bena area.

The two large impact areas are one half mile north of Highway 82 and the other is one half mile south of there. 

Investigators say it appears that something went wrong at cruise altitude and have noticed a large debris pattern. 

RELATED: Investigation continues into crash of military plane

"On board were 16 great Americans representing the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. Nine Marines belonged VMGR-452 in Newburgh, New York, six Marines with 2d Raider Bn. in Camp Lejeune, and one U.S. Navy corpsman with 2d Raider Bn.," Brig. General James said. "Family members have been notified. Out of respect for the families, we will not release the names or specifics as of now, expect the roster of names within the next few days."

He said the members involved in response to the crash of "Yanky 72" are extensive in agencies and skillsets. The investigation process by those agencies is a four phased approach:

1. Recovery of the remains and effects and notification of next of kin

2. Preservation of our impact sites and equipment

3. Investigation

4. Clean up and restoration of impact sites

Brig. General James went on to thank the federal, state and local agencies that have been involved in the investigation, including: 

  • MS Wildlife and Fisheries
  • MS Bureau of Investigation
  • MS Emergency Management Agency
  • MS Highway Patrol
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal
  • U.S. Airforce Explosive Ordinance Disposal
  • MS Office of Homeland Security
  • Sheriff offices from Leflore and Sunflower counties
  • The Leflore County Fire Department
  • Leflore Coroners Department
  • Leflore Emergency Management Agency
  • Salvation Army
  • MS Valley State University
  • MS State Examiners Office
  • U.S. Armed Forces Medical Examiners Team
  • U.S. Air Force Safety Team Columbus Air Force Base
  • Desoto County Sheriff Department
  • Delta K-9
  • U.S. Marines from 4th MAW and 2d Raider Bn.

Officials also said if anybody finds debris, do not touch it, just call 1-800-ATF-GUNS.

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