ATF & FEDERAL PROSECUTORS INVESTIGATING REMOVAL OF CRASH DEBRIS
ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s public safety commissioner says authorities are pursuing at least one criminal investigation against someone for removing debris from a crashed Marine Corps plane.
At a Wednesday news conference in Itta Bena, Commissioner Marshall Fisher said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as federal prosecutors in northern Mississippi, are investigating.
Fisher urged people to stay away from debris and call the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS if they find anything.
State law enforcement agencies are guarding the site where the Marine Corp KC-130 crashed on Monday in Mississippi’s Leflore County, killing 15 Marines and 1 Navy corpsman.
Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James says two main impact areas are separated by a mile, but smaller debris is scattered more widely. He and Fisher said some debris could be dangerous to bystanders.
As officials investigate a deadly military plane crash in Mississippi, a Marine general says the plane was at cruise altitude when the problem developed.
Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commanding general, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, said, “Indications are that something went wrong at cruise altitude.”
The crash of the KC-130 killed 15 Marines and a Navy sailor. James said nine Marines were from Newburgh, N.Y. and six Marines and a Navy Corpsman were from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Officials say debris from the KC-130 is scattered over 2 to 3 miles and that it likely will take between five and six days to clean up.
Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks says federal and local officials are still searching through the soybean fields in rural Mississippi after a military plane crashed, killing 16 people. He said Wednesday that debris from the KC-130 is scattered over 2 to 3 miles and that it likely will take between five and six days to clean up.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement Tuesday on Twitter that law enforcement authorities have received reports that items are being taken from the crash site. The governor asks people to stay away and turn debris over to authorities.
Bryant warned that anyone taking something could be prosecuted.
Banks said people have stopped picking up the debris after the governor’s warning.
Federal and local officials are combing Mississippi soybean fields for clues in a military plane crash that killed 15 Marines and a Navy sailor.
Debris was scattered for miles across the flat countryside Tuesday. The disaster Monday afternoon was the deadliest Marine crash anywhere in the world in more than a decade.
The Marine Corps says six of the Marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The special forces members and their equipment were headed for pre-deployment training in Yuma, Arizona.
The plane was based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, and officials said some of those killed were from the base.
Military officials continued to withhold the names of the dead, saying they were notifying family members.