Elmendorf Air Force Base (US): Four airmen
were killed in a cargo plane that crashed during a training
run at an Air Force base, military authorities said on Thursday.
The crash sent a fireball hundreds of feet into the
air, witnesses said. Three of the men were in the Alaska Air
National Guard and the fourth was on active duty at Elmendorf
Air Force Base, Air Force Col. John McMullen said. Their names
have not been released pending notification of relatives.
"We lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family and
it`s a loss felt across our entire joint installation,"
McMullen said in a statement, referring to Elmendorf and its
adjacent Army base, Fort Richardson.
The C-17 was from the 3rd Wing, based at Elmendorf
near downtown Anchorage. The crash happened about 6:14 pm
(local time) during a training demonstration for an upcoming
weekend air show, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins said.
Anchorage Fire Dept. Captain Bryan Grella said his
crew was just finishing dinner at about 6:30 p.m. at the
downtown fire station when something caught his eye.
"It was a big, gray plume of smoke, and I saw a
fireball go up in it," he said. The fireball extended about
more than 200 meters in the air, he estimated.
The crash is the second in Anchorage this summer.
In June, one child was killed and four others burned when a
small plane crashed after taking off from the city`s
small-airplane airport downtown.