The US Marine Corps military plane crashed in rural Mississippi with nine Marines onboard.
The Lockheed Martin KC-130 crashed into a soybean field about 135 kilometres north of Jackson around 4pm on Monday afternoon, killing sixteen people.
The Associated Press cited an official with the local Greenwood Airport as saying that the KC-130 suffered a structural failure at 20,000 feet altitude that caused it to crash.
Debris found on both sides of a highway near the crash site suggests the plane exploded mid-air prior to the crash.
Marine Corps spokeswoman Captain Sarah Burns said in a statement that a Marine C-130 “experienced a mishap” on Monday evening.
Officials did not have information on what caused the crash or where the flight originated.
The Clarion Ledger reports the flight’s last known communication was at an elevation of approximately 20,000 feet.
The KC-130 believed involved in this crash are used for air-to-air refuelling.