Authorities in MS are pursuing a criminal investigation into at least one individual for taking debris from the ammunition-strewn wreckage site of the Marine Corps KC-130T that crashed Monday and killed 16 service members.
The air tanker was based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, and was traveling from a Marine base at Cherry Point, North Carolina, to a naval field at El Centro, California, when it went down, according to the Associated Press.
In this Monday, July 10, 2017 frame from video, smoke and flames rise from a military plane that crashed in a farm field, in Itta Bena, Miss., killing several. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Tuesday that it is assisting. Phase 1 is the recovery of the remains and notifying the next of kin; Phase 2 is the preservation of the impact sites and equipment; Phase 3 is the investigation of the crash; Phase 4 is the cleanup and restoration of the impact sites. The plane's debris were scattered in a radius of about five miles.
The Poughkeepsie Journal in NY said Marine reservists from the nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base were also on the plane. The Yankee 72 crash also marks the latest blow to the tightknit Marine Corps Special Operations community.
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The KC-130 is used to refuel aircraft in flight.
The Marine Corps announced in a news release that six Marines and a sailor from Camp Lejeune were among the service members killed in KC-130 crash on Monday.
"He was thinking of looking into that, but he said, 'You know, I've got some time, '" Johnson said.
The Marine Corps says personal weapons and small-arms ammunition were aboard.