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Three people dead after firefighting air tanker crashes in Snowy Monaro

Michael Weaver 23 January 2020 16
Air tanker.

The RFS lost contact with a C-130 Hercules, similar to this one. Photo: Facebook NSW RFS.

UPDATE 5:20 pm The Australian Defence Force is helping locate the wreckage of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules firefighting air tanker that crashed this afternoon claiming the three lives of its American crew.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the plane had deployed from the Richmond RAAF base with a load of fire retardant.

It was headed for the Good Good fire ground north-east of Cooma.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the loss “hurts deeply”.

The aircraft was contracted through American aerial firefighting company Coulson Aviation. They have grounded their fleet as a precaution and mark of respect.

UPDATE 4:45 pm NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed three people have lost their lives after a large air tanker contracted to the RFS crashed in the Snowy Monaro area earlier today.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said all three occupants were US citizens. Police and the ATSB are investigating the crash and undertaking recovery operations.

It was earlier reported that the aircraft, a Lockheed EC-130 Hercules, registration N134CG, was carrying out a search on the Good Good fire ground north-east of Cooma.

Unverified flight path of the missing plane

The unverified flight path of the missing C-130 air tanker. Image: Flightpath24.

UPDATE 4:00 pm The NSW Rural Fire Service lost contact with the air tanker fighting a blaze north-east of Cooma in the Snowy Monaro area.

“Local ground crews indicate the aircraft may have crashed,” the RFS said. “A number of helicopters are in the area carrying out a search.”

“No further information is available at this time.”

There are reports the aircraft, a Lockheed EC-130 Hercules, registration N134CG from RAAF Base Richmond was carrying out a search on the Good Good fire ground north-east of Cooma.It is believed there were three people on board.

There is an emergency warning in place for a blaze burning towards Adaminaby in the Snowy Monaro region.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on About Regional.


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16 Responses to Three people dead after firefighting air tanker crashes in Snowy Monaro
Linda Leavitt Linda Leavitt 6:07 am 24 Jan 20

Very sad.

Jayne Bryant Jayne Bryant 9:31 pm 23 Jan 20

Such a tragedy

Sonz Luciana Sonz Luciana 9:30 pm 23 Jan 20

It’s so sad to hear of more lives lost especially when they were here on a mission to help us tackle the bush fire crisis. Such a tragedy. It’s time they ditch the old methods of simply containing the fires and come up with new methods to extinguish the fires from the start once and for all! It’s terrible. Australia will forever be grateful and in debt for the sacrifice you have made procuring our land. Our deepest condolences goes out to your families overseas. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you and may all of you Rest In Peace.

Karen Hunter Karen Hunter 9:04 pm 23 Jan 20

Condolences to the families

Cheryl O'Donnell Cheryl O'Donnell 6:59 pm 23 Jan 20

Deepest sympathy to families of the 3 American crew who lost their lives today . No words will ever be enough to replace your Husbands, Fathers and Sons but our gratitude for their heroic efforts in supporting Australia will never be forgotten

Su Hanfling Su Hanfling 6:49 pm 23 Jan 20

Heartbreaking. Deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

Mark Craswell Mark Craswell 6:43 pm 23 Jan 20

Sorry to here people so far from home have sacrificed so much

Mario Vozella Mario Vozella 6:27 pm 23 Jan 20

Very sad

Kathy Schneider Kathy Schneider 6:12 pm 23 Jan 20

So sad for their families. They were here to help us.

Lynda-Maree Morgan Lynda-Maree Morgan 6:02 pm 23 Jan 20

My heart goes out to all their family and friends 💔

Kim Johnston Kim Johnston 5:52 pm 23 Jan 20

Just so tragic.

Sandra Naden Sandra Naden 5:37 pm 23 Jan 20

It is so sad . Just trying to help us all .

Narelle Greentree Rixon Narelle Greentree Rixon 5:34 pm 23 Jan 20

Tragic 😥, ALL HEROES ❤, condolences to their families

Robyn Denise Robyn Denise 5:24 pm 23 Jan 20

Tragic news. 😥

Smita Patel Smita Patel 5:18 pm 23 Jan 20

It’s too much. 💔 those immediately affected I’m so so sorry

Marianne Dykes Marianne Dykes 5:18 pm 23 Jan 20

Oh so sad when they were doing their job.

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