Military plane that crashed was headed for retirement

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A military cargo plane crashed in the southern USA state of Georgia on Wednesday, killing all five people aboard, an official said.

At least five people were killed, said Capt. Jeff Bezore, a spokesman for the Georgia Air National Guard's 165th Air Wing.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, and firefighters were still working to make the crash site safe for investigators, Georgia Air National Guard Senior Master Sergeant Roger Parsons said.

"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.

The crash spread jet fuel across the highway and touched off small fires along the roadway, but no people or vehicles were hit on the ground.

"A lot of people work in Chatham County but live in Effingham County, and Highway 21 is one of the major ways to get from one county to the other", Chelsea Sawyer, an emergency management specialist with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, tells Kiley. The plane last received maintenance at the base in Savannah in April. "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", Mr Jones said. General Rivera said that the National Guard had not yet made official notifications to family members, but the relatives had been learning about the crash on their own.

The US territory's Governor Ricardo Rossello expressed his sadness, tweeting that "our prayers are with the families of the Puerto Rican crew". The plane then heads straight down behind trees.

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It's too early to say what might have caused the accident, he said.

Dahlen declined to say whether all nine aboard were dead, but acknowledged that images of the crash appeared to "speak for themselves".

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. "Our prayers are with the families of the Puerto Rican crew".

"This pains us", he said of the deaths.

As per local media reports, the plane, the C-130 "Hercules" weather reconnaissance and cargo plane was in Savannah for maintenance and was on its final flight to Arizona where it was to be decommissioned.

Photographs on Twitter showed the wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames and billowing black smoke.