Military Crew Killed in C-130 Crash

All nine crew members from Puerto Rico Air National Guard died after departing on a training mission.

c130 hercules
A C-130 Hercules crashed shortly after departing from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Georgia.U.S. Air National Guard photo/Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer

A Puerto Rican Air National Guard C-130 Hercules crashed yesterday shortly after departing from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Georgia. A massive fireball erupted as the heavy cargo airplane hit the ground on state highway 21 about a mile from the airport.

The airplane was a part of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard’s 156th Airlift Wing. Nine people on the C-130 were killed. Early statements from the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force stated five people were on the airplane, but that information was later updated to report that additional four passengers perished in the crash.

While the airplane crashed in what is generally a busy intersection, there were no fatalities or injuries on the ground. “As far as we know, there were no cars hit in this crash,” said Gena Bilbo from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office in a press conference. “It is an absolute miracle.” The road will be shut down during the accident investigation.

According to a message from the U.S. Air Force, the C-130 was on a training mission. An amateur video showed the airplane was slowly rotating and in a nearly straight nose-down attitude prior to the impact. A cause for the crash has not been determined. Reports claim the C-130 was about 60 years old - one of the oldest C-130s in service.