4 dead, 2 hospitalized in Black Hills plane crash - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

4 dead, 2 hospitalized in Black Hills plane crash

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We are getting reports about the plane crash in the Black Hills fire fight that four of the six crew members on board the C-130 have died.

The other two were taken to the Rapid City Hospital.

This is the first time a C-130 has crashed while fighting a fire. A C-130 plane has the capabilities of dumping 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than 5 seconds. The plane made at least 2 drops of retardant on the White Draw fire near Edgemont on Sunday before crashing around 7:00 Central time that night.

THe North Carolina Air National Guard, where the airmen and planes are based, held a press conference yesterday.

The North Carolina Air National Guard says it is challenging to fight the wildfires because you're dealing with smoke and different temperatures but these men and women are very well trained.

Lt. Colonel Robert Carver said these crews are very confident.

"They enjoy this mission, it's a very important mission, and they take it and train very seriously. They train very hard."

The military has grounded the remaining seven C-130s indefinitely, leaving only 14 federally contracted heavy tankers available to fight fires until investigators determine what caused the crash. The planes were flying out of Peterson Air Force Base to fight fires in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.

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