Large military plane crashes in Mississippi, killing at least 5

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A large military plane has crashed in a field in northwest Mississippi, killing at least five people and leaving several others unaccounted-for, local officials say. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The accident happened at about 4 p.m. on Monday when the C-130 Hercules aircraft went down in a soybean field near Greenwood in Leflore County. Photos and videos showed thick plumes of black smoke billowing from the scene.

County officials said 9 people were believed to have been on board the four-engine military transport plane. As of early Monday evening, 5 bodies had been recovered at the site and rescue workers were continuing to search for those unaccounted-for.

Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper that the debris field is about 5 miles in radius, indicating that the aircraft exploded or fell apart in mid-air. There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, in a message posted on social media, asked citizens to join him and his wife in “praying for those hurting after this tragedy,” adding: “Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom.”

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