(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
A US military plane crashed in rural Mississippi on Monday evening, a state emergency official said, and media there reported that at least five people were killed.
No official details were immediately available on the crash in northern Mississippi's LeFlore County, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Jackson, the state capital.
Captain Sarah Burns, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps, said a US Marines KC-130 Hercules transport aircraft "experienced a mishap."
However, the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, citing LeFlore County Sheriff Ricky Banks, reported that at least five of the nine people believed to have been aboard the plane were killed.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant described the incident as a "tragedy" in a statement on Facebook but provided no further details.
Images posted online by news organizations showed the crumpled wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames in a field surrounded by tall vegetation, with a large plume of smoke in the sky above the crash site.
The National Transportation Safety Board did not respond immediately to a request for comment.