5 killed after United States military plane crashes in Georgia

WATCH LIVE | Military plane crashes near Savannah

WATCH LIVE | Military plane crashes near Savannah

Five people have died after a military cargo plane crashed in the southern U.S. state of Georgia, officials say.

The video shows two different angles of C-130 cargo plane nose-diving into the ground, followed by a large explosion.

The crash occurred at 11 a.m. local time.

Smoke billows at the site of a military plane crash in Savannah, Ga., on May 2, 2018.

Georgia Air National Guard Capt Jeffrey Bezore said in a statement that five people were on the plane.

At least five were confirmed dead, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the number of fatalities could rise.

Puerto Rico National Guard spokesman Major Paul Dahlen said initial information indicated there were five to nine people aboard the plane, which was heading to Arizona.

"Nine crew members died in the accident, but until their families and relatives are notified, we can not give their names", said Brigadier General Isabelo Rivera, the assistant general of Puerto Rico.

"We were seeing a bunch of black smoke, but now it's just EMS and fire trucks and police", she told the newspaper.

"It was frightful", said Denver Goodwin, who works at a wrecker service down the street from the crash.

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The plane crashed at the intersection of Highway 21 at Crossgate Road just northeast of the Savannah airport, according to Chatham Emergency Management Agency.

Boone said the cargo plane was manufactured in the late 1970s and had been in Savannah for routine maintenance.

There were no injuries on the ground.

"If he did, this area is a giant bomb, and this whole (5-mile) radius would have blown up", he told CNN over Facebook, calling the pilot a hero for avoiding the area. "It was absolutely frightful".

"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 cause of the crash is established.

The crash was at least the fifth deadly accident involving a United States military aircraft since early April and the first of a U.S. military C-130 since July, when 16 service members were killed in a MS crash.

"The National Guard is an extended family", Rivera said as doctors, psychologists and chaplains gathered to meet with the victims' relatives.

The WC-130 is used by the Air Force for Hurricane Hunter missions to provide reconnaissance on on tropical storms and hurricanes.

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