By: Kyle James | 05-03-2018 | News
Photo credit: James Lavine

9 Puerto Ricans Killed In Final Flight Of C-130 (Video)

On what was supposed to be the last flight of its 60-year career, an Air National Guard C-130 crashed onto a highway in Georgia Wednesday killing all 9 passengers. The C-130 was a mainstay of American military air power for decades and this particular plane was heading into retirement in Arizona when it crashed.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">VIDEO: Security Footage of Savannah C-130 Crash<a href="">@POTUS</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QAnon</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Qarmy</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#C130</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#c130crash</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; [intheMatrixxx] (@intheMatrixxx) <a href="">May 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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A video from a surveillance camera caught the moment the C-130 went down on camera and the fireball that followed. The aging aircraft narrowly missed traffic when it crashed on state highway 21 moments after taking off from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Effingham County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Gena Bilbo said, "It miraculously did not hit any cars, any homes. This is a very busy roadway. To our knowledge, there are no survivors."

The massive aircraft left pieces strewn across the highway where it appears the plane's fuselage struck the median, and pieces of its wings were scattered everywhere. The debris field spanned a 600-foot section of the highway, according to Bilbo. Chris Hanks, a spokesman for the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association, said the only part left still intact was the aircraft's tail section.

Isabelo Rivera, Adjutant General of Puerto Rico’s National Guard said the 60-year-old plane belonged to the 156th Air Wing and was used to rescue U.S. citizens stranded in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. It also helped carry supplies to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria the year prior. Rivera said, "The planes that we have in Puerto Rico – it’s not news today that they are the oldest planes on inventory."

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The plane last received maintenance at the base in Savannah in April but it is too early to make a determination as to the cause of the crash. "This pains us," Rivera said. He added that most of the victim's families were notified but they are not releasing their identities yet. Mark Jones witnessed the crash on the highway and said, "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."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I have been briefed on the U.S. C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane from the Puerto Rico National Guard that crashed near Savannah Hilton Head International Airport. Please join me in thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the great men and women of the National Guard.</p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">May 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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"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," Jones said. President Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims and their families saying "thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the great men and women of the National Guard."

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