Military plane crashes in Georgia

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries and Veronica Rocha, CNN
updated 1:37 PM ET, Thu May 3, 2018
1:35 p.m. ET, May 3, 2018

These are the 9 victims of the crash

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

The Puerto Rico National Guard released the names of the PRANG WC-130 accident: 

  • Maj. José R. Román Rosado - Pilot - 18 years of service - from Manati, PR. He is survived by his wife and two sons. 
  • Maj. Carlos Pérez Serra - Navigator - 23 years of service - from Canóvanas, PR. He is survived by his wife, two sons and daughter. 
  • 1st Lt. David Albandoz - Co-Pilot - 16 years of service - from PR, recently residing in Madison, Alabama. He is survived by his wife and daughter. 
  • Senior Master Sgt. Jan Paravisini - Mechanic - 21 years of service - from Canóvanas, PR. He is survived by two daughters and son.
  • Master Sgt. Jean Audriffred - 16 years of service - from Carolina, PR. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
  • Master Sgt. Mario Braña - Flight Engineer - 17 years of service - from Bayamón, PR. He is survived by his mother and daughter.
  • Master Sgt. Víctor Colón - 22 years of service - from Santa Isabel, PR. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
  • Master Sgt. Eric Circuns - Loadmaster - 31 years of service - from Rio Grande, PR. He is survived by his wife, two step-daughters and son. 
  • Senior Airman Roberto Espada - three years of service - from Salinas, PR. He is survived by his grandmother.

 

11:53 a.m. ET, May 3, 2018

Puerto Rico will fly flags at half-staff for plane crash victims

From CNN’s Angela Barajas 

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares declared a state of morning after yesterday's military plane crash, which killed nine airmen from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

"Our prayers for the family and friends of these nine Puerto Ricans. In their honor, the flags will fly at half-staff for nine days," said Rossello.  

The names of the victims will not be disclosed until family members are notified. The National Guard of Puerto Rico will release the names at a later time.

9:28 a.m. ET, May 3, 2018

The plane was on its way to Arizona to be decommissioned

The military plane that crashed in Georgia yesterday was on its way to Tucson, Arizona, where it was to be decommissioned. The cause of the crash is still unknown.

The plane was at least 50 years old, according to an official familiar with the aircraft.

8:48 a.m. ET, May 3, 2018

The 9 victims were airmen in the Puerto Rico Air National Guard

The nine crew members killed in yesterday's military plane crash in Savannah, Georgia, were all airmen from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, officials said at a press conference Thursday morning.

None of their names have been released.

"We are in the process of notifying the families of those involved and ask for your patience, your prayers and your privacy as we allow the time for those families to be notified and time for them to grieve."

8:28 a.m. ET, May 3, 2018

SOON: Officials give update on plane crash

Officials are set to hold a press conference at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss yesterday's fatal plane crash.

Here's what we know now:

  • A military plane from the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico crashed on a highway in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Nine crew members were killed
  • The plane was on its final mission when it crashed. The WC-130 was flying out to Arizona to be de-commissioned, Maj. Paul Dahlen of the Puerto Rican National Guard told CNN.

9:30 p.m. ET, May 2, 2018

9 crew members dead in plane crash

From CNN's Tristan Smith

Nine crew members were killed in today's plane crash in Savannah, Georgia, the Puerto Rico National Guard confirmed in a statement.

"Nine crew members died in the accident, but until their families and relatives are notified we can not give their names," Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera, assistant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, said in the statement.

"Our prayers, thoughts and condolences to the families and loved ones of our aviators."
7:55 p.m. ET, May 2, 2018

Highway 21 will remain closed indefinitely due to plane crash

Flames and smoke rise from an Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane after it crashed near Savannah, Ga., Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office announced that Highway 21 in Savannah, Georgia, will remain closed due to today's plane crash

"There is a 600’ x 600’ debris field that is being investigated by the military," the sheriff's office statement said.

Here's what needs to happen before the road is reopened:

  • The military must conclude its investigation.
  • Crews have to clean up the scene.
  • The Georgia Department of Transportation must examine and repair the road.
7:34 p.m. ET, May 2, 2018

The plane was on its final flight when it crashed

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The WC-130 that crashed in Georgia today was flying out to Arizona to be de-commissioned, Maj. Paul Dahlen of the Puerto Rican National Guard told CNN.

The plane was to be de-commissioned and placed in a strategic reserve holding area. Arizona is home to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, known as “the boneyard”

Dahlen confirmed that nine personnel were aboard the aircraft when it crashed, including five crew and four passengers.

6:21 p.m. ET, May 2, 2018

Puerto Rico's governor sends his condolences

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló issued a statement today on the plane crash in Savannah, Georgia.

"While we are waiting for more information regarding this unfortunate accident, my thoughts and those of Beatriz are with the families of the crew. They will receive our support and that of the National Guard of Puerto Rico in this process, " he said. 

The plane crashed about 11:30 a.m. after taking off from Savannah Hilton/Head International Airport. It was on a routine mission to Arizona, the governor said.