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Pictures have emerged of the 9 crew members that were killed after a military plane crashed on a highway in Georgia. The identities of the crew have also been revealed.
The flight was the last journey that the C-130 Hercules aircraft would ever take after more than 60 years of service. It had been part of the Puerto Rico National Guard fleet that had been assisting with the rescue effort following Hurricane Irma.
It was being flown for retirement in Arizona when it took a nosedive onto a road near Port Wentworth at about 11:30am local time on Wednesday.
The pilot in charge at the time of the crash has been identified as 43-year-old Rafael Román, a native of Manati in Puerto Rico.
The mayor of Manati, a town on the North East coast of the island, Jose Sanchez, said: "The town is in mourning. My condolences to all Puerto Rico families."
The other crew members have not been officially named but have been identified by local media as co-pilot David 'Lanita' Albandoz, Carlos Perez Cera, a navigator, flight engineer Mario Brana, mechanic Jan Paravisini, loadmaster Eric Circuns, and crew members Victor 'Vitin' Colon and Roberto Espada Gali were also killed.
The families of the victims have been informed.
The plane had reportedly been under a lot of maintenance before it made the journey to the USA. However, the tragic crash took place moments after the plane took off from Savannah/Hilton Head Airport.
Experts have yet to confirm any potential reason behind the crash, but witnesses have suggested that its engines might have stalled, causing it to go into a sharp descent.
Surveillance footage from a business near the site shows the aircraft in a nosedive before it crashes in a ball of flames.
All nine members of the plane's crew were killed. All had been serving in the rescue effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The plane had been used to rescue people stranded on the British Virgin Islands as well as delivering crucial aid to the people of Puerto Rico.
A motorist who witnessed the crash told Savannah Morning News: "It didn't look like it nosedived, but it almost looked like it stalled and just went almost flat right there in the middle of the highway,"
"I'm still shook up and shaking. My stomach is in knots because I know they're people just like me. I wasn't that far from it and I could have just kept going and it would have been me and we wouldn't be talking right now,
"The explosion, it was indescribable. It covered all 4 lanes and more. There was just a huge fireball of God knows what"
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