9 people aboard military plane that crashed in Savannah, no apparent survivors

The Latest: Cause of military cargo plane crash unknown

An aging C-130 Hercules that rescued and resupplied US citizens after last year's hurricanes crashed onto a highway in Georgia during what was supposed to be its final flight, killing all nine Puerto Ricans on board.

Gena Bilbo, spokesperson for the Effingham County Sheriff's Department, told reporters: "It is an absolute miracle" that no vehicles were hit in the busy intersection at the crash site.

Still, Wednesday's crash was a new blemish on the plane's record, coming nearly 10 months after fifteen Marines and a sailor died when an air tanker version of the plane, a KC-130T, plunged into farmland in rural Mississippi.

Viewer describes moments before C-130 crash near Savannah.

US President Donald Trump tweeted he had been briefed on the incident, and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

BG Rivera said the plane had been decommissioned for use because it was one of the oldest airplanes on inventory.

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They were aboard the C-130 plane when it came down on Wednesday beside the highway intersection near the airport in the coastal city of Savannah. All the airmen were from Puerto Rico, an official said.

The C-130 was attached to the Air Transport Wing 156 of the Air National Guard at Muñiz Base, Carolina.

"It didn't look like it nosedived, but it nearly looked like it stalled and just went nearly flat right there in the middle of the highway", Jones said, describing how people stopped and got out of their cars following the explosion.

The governor's statement says the names of the victims are being withheld pending notification of their families.

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport said on social media that some flights were being affected though the crash happened off its property. They say they are awaiting more information about the deadly crash and have pledged their full support to the families of the crew and passengers. It should also be noted that the plane had recently undergone routine maintenance over the last few days and was cleared for flight.

Video images posted on Twitter appeared to show the plane diving headlong toward the ground, and then a plume of smoke from an explosion. Paul Dahlen, spokesman for the Puerto Rico National Guard. NBC affiliate WSAV is reporting that two people have been killed in the crash, however this has not been officially confirmed.

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