(CNN)All nine people aboard an aging cargo plane making its final military flight Wednesday were killed when the aircraft nosedived into a Georgia highway.
The plane involved in Wednesday’s crash was at least 50 years old, according to an official familiar with the aircraft.
“Nine crew members died in the accident, but until their families and relatives are notified, we cannot give their names,” Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera said. “Our prayers, thoughts and condolences to the families and loved ones of our aviators.”
One witness said the plane made a “loud, strange noise” just before the crash. Another said the ground shook as if a bomb went off when it hit.
Video from a business near the crash shows the horrifying final moments of the hulking plane, a version normally outfitted to do weather reconnaissance.
The jet, with four turboprop engines on its overhead wing, banks left as it comes down. The plane then heads straight down behind trees. Seconds later a fireball and thick black smoke appear.
Puerto Rico’s governor sent his condolences.
“While we are waiting for more information regarding this unfortunate accident, my thoughts and those of Beatriz are with the families of the crew. They will receive our support and that of the National Guard of Puerto Rico in this process, ” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said.
President Donald Trump tweeted his support.
“Please join me in thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the great men and women of the National Guard,” he said.
All the airmen were from Puerto Rico, officials said.
Truck driver Roger Best works for a transportation company in Garden City, about 4 miles south of the crash, and saw the plane overhead before it plummeted. It was so low when it passed over that it rumbled the ground beneath his rig, he said.
His company handles hazardous materials, he said, expressing gratitude that the aircraft didn’t crash in his immediate vicinity.
“If he did this area is a giant bomb and this whole (five-mile) radius would have blown up,” he told CNN over Facebook, calling the pilot a hero for avoiding the area. “He barely made it over the tree line (and it) looked as if he tried to turn and nose dive straight into the ground right in front of me.”
Christian Freeman saw the WC-130 go down, he said. First, he heard a “loud, strange noise,” he said.
“I looked over to my right and seen the plane at very low altitude and making a hard left turn to the ground,” he said.
It happened so quickly, he didn’t have a chance to pull his phone out until after it exploded, Freeman said.
“It was horrible,” said Denver Goodwin, who works at a wrecker service down the street from the crash. “The ground shook like a bomb was going off. All the people in the building started panicking. It was absolutely horrible.”
Mary Hennessy Cogar was at her place of employment in Garden City and said she felt the impact.
“Our building shook and the lights flickered. We heard a boom of the crash and then a louder boom of the explosion,” she said.
A tweet from the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association showed the tail of the plane protruding from thick smoke and fire.
There were no injuries on the ground.
“As far as we know, no cars were hit, which is an absolute miracle,” said Gena Bilbo, spokeswoman for the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash occurred a few miles away from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, off state Highway 21, airport spokeswoman Candace Carpenter said.
Cause of crash not yet known
Maj. Paul Dahlen said the plane, from the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico, had been in Savannah for “a number of days” undergoing routine maintenance before heading to the Aerospace Regeneration and Maintenance Group in Arizona.
“We don’t know the cause of the crash,” he said.
The WC-130 is a variant of the C-130. Produced continuously since 1954, the C-130 is a reliable and versatile aircraft with several iterations. It can be outfitted for transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue, research, refueling, patrol or as a gunship.
Last month, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, released a statement saying the “readiness of the military is at a crisis point” after reports that 16 American service members had been killed in noncombat aircraft crashes over a matter of weeks.
Handy Wood Kit is a wood-themed hand gesture video kit designed to work with Easy Video Lab and Easy Video Lab Lite. Handy Wood Kit can be used to create hand gesture videos. Handy Wood Kit also comes with free software, Easy Video Lab Lite
ClipsReel - SingleClipsReel is a modern, A.I. based automatic storyboarding and video creation web based software. Using ClipsReel you can turn any article, blogpost or webpage into a stunning video.
VidMozo EnterprisePromote A DEAD SIMPLE, Cloud Based App That Builds- Instant 1 Click SEO-Optimized Affiliate Sites, Curates Videos and Content and Gets You Facebook, Viral and Search Traffic on Complete AUTOPILOT
Live Vid Ranker OTO 2A Point And Click, Cloud-Based Software Tool That Makes It Easy To ‘Go Live’Within Minutes, LiveVidRanker Creates Hundreds Of Unique Live Streams With Just ONE VideoDominate Hundreds Of Google And YouTube Page #1 Rankings For Unlimited, FREE Traffic
RewardLeads - Charter EditionRewardLeads allows you to create your own Digital Loyaly Scheme. Get's you more customers, more sales per customer and more subscribers.
TubeTraffic : TRJ + TJGet more powerful YouTube marketing with good quality optimization. This is the key to success to LONG TERM YouTube profitablity, get this TubeTraffic OTO to better you video optimization.
Everlesson SPEverlesson is a Complete online system for managing your entire membership site. It produce the most beautiful, highly profitable membership sites in a matter of minutes. These memberships will keep your members engaged and hungry for more of your product
VideoMate PRO single site license100% automated video marketing.Get automated content
Get automated traffic
Get automated list building
Get automated social followers
Get automated PROFITSAll using the power of VIDEO
Recastly PremiumThis is our Front End offer which lets you add up to 10 minutes of video to Recastly (any number of videos as long as they are under 10 minutes) and then generates subtitles for that video in any languages. Also you can add natural and professional voiceo
BleuPage Pro -> Content FetcherLike a blog in your niche? Want to repost from that blog to your social media networks? Content Fetcher is made exactly for this purpose, just put the FEED URL of your favorite blog and select your social media networks and see the magic unfold.
VidSeoRank ProVidSeoRank Pro is a Cloud Based Software that Creates Targeted Youtube Campaigns That will Scale Up Results for Affiliate, Ecommerce, Local, and CPA offers
Viper Cache Agency License10x your page load speed with vipersrike cache engine...built from the ground up to give you total ease of use and minimum user input and maximum security unlike its competitors.
SpyCom - ClipsReel ACEClipsReel is a modern, A.I. based automatic storyboarding and video creation web based software. Using ClipsReel you can turn any article, blogpost or webpage into a stunning video.
xFunnels AI Voice Robot PersonalMake Guaranteed 300% More Profits, More Revenue from Each Site Visitor?With Smart AI Voice Robot Like Jarvis from Ironman ?To Interact, Engage and Convert Site Visitors Into Buyers?On Website 24*7 On Complete Autopilot Even While You Sleep
ProfitBuilder Academy Payment PlanProfitBuilder Academy - Discover the Secrets of Legends as Sean grills industry experts to reveal their secrets and shares some of his own secrets in this explosive advanced training...
Video Magic Web Based Player "AGENCY"This is possibly your only chance to become a Video Magic Player reseller so click the button below and turn ON the unlimited profit machine for yourself. You may never see this offer again so "TAKE ACTION NOW"!
Prosociate 4.0 Plus Ebay Edition - Single SiteThe ultimate Amazon Affiliate Plugin for Wordpress just got better with version 3.0. Now with csv imports of large file sets, automatic spinning of text and optional E-Bay modeul.shopping cart experience, and more. Check us out and see why Prosociate mak
StumbleUpon Traffic MasterDiscover The Little Known Red Hot Traffic Source That's More Visual Than Twitter... Has More Niches Than LinkedIn... And Will Send You More Targeted Traffic Than FaceBook!
iGloo StandardIgloo enables you to create and launch an online business with all the marketing pages you need to convert traffic into sales.
DigiiBiz Max LiteYour Own Digital Product Empire… in 60 Seconds - 3 Additional Templates
Wordpress eMail Countdown Timer - MRRWP eMail Countdown is a fantastic plugin that allows you to effortlessly add action-taking and profit-inducing countdown timers inside your emails. What's more, not only can you add them to your emails, but also to your websites and blogs as a widget!