By RUSS BYNUM AND DANICA COTO
Military investigators began the arduous
task Thursday of answering
why a C-130 Hercules cargo plane
dropped from the sky to crash on a Georgia
highway as families of nine Puerto Rican airmen
grieved Thursday over the deaths of an
experienced crew killed amid the fi ery wreckage.
There were no survivors when the C-130
Hercules transport plunged to the ground
near Savannah, Georgia, missing motorists
and buildings Wednesday. The plane was long
a part of the fl eet of Puerto Rico’s Air National
Guard and had rescued and resupplied U.S.
citizens after last year’s hurricanes. It crashed
soon after taking off on what was supposed to
have been its fi nal fl ight.
The crash caused an explosion that scattered
debris from the huge aircraft across an
area roughly 600 feet (183 meters) in diameter,
leaving only the tail section intact amid chunks
of debris in the middle of Georgia Highway
21. A military offi cer told reporters Thursday
investigators were on the scene, but he off ered
no preliminary fi ndings.
“It’s extremely important for us to understand
what has happened,” said Col. Pete
Boone, vice commander of the 165th Airlift
Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. He
said investigators would use “every resource
at our disposal to properly identify a cause.”
The aging C-130 was assigned to airmen
from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, and
the crash happened as they left Savannah/
Hilton Head International Airport en route to
Arizona on what was supposed to be the aircraft’s
fi nal fl ight.
Boone said the plane had received “routine
maintenance” while in Savannah. He did
not know if the crew made a distress call to air
traffi c controllers after takeoff .
All nine airmen on board had been con-
fi rmed dead, Boone said. The military made
their names public Thursday afternoon.
The pilot was identifi ed as Maj. José Rafael
Román, who hailed from the coastal town
of Manatí along Puerto Rico’s north coast. The
mayor of that town, José Sánchez, told The Associated
Press that Román had two sons and
his wife is fi ve months pregnant with a girl.
“The town is in mourning,” Sánchez
GOOD MORNING 3 May 4-6, 2018
The San Juan Daily Star, the only paper with News Service in English in Puerto Rico, publishes 7 days a week,
with a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday edition, along with a Weekend Edition to cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
|Photo – PRNG Members KilledIn Georgia Plane Crash – http://eepurl.com/dtAgQb|
PRNG Members KilledIn Georgia Plane Crash – http://eepurl.com/dtAgQb
1011now–May 3, 2018
International–PBS NewsHour–May 3, 2018