An all-American flight crew of three volunteer firefighters have been killed after their Hercules C-130 crashed in New South Wales on Thursday.
The three firefighters had flown to Australia in order to assist with bushfire relief efforts.
7News is reporting that the plane they were flying in plummeted into dense bushland near the Snowy Mountains township of Peak View.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons described the trio as “absolute professionals”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the three occupants who routinely crew that specialised aircraft,” he said.
The NSW Rural Fire Service confirmed that they lost contact with the Hercules C-130 in the Snowy Monaro area just before 13:30 hours.
Fitzsimmons says the aircraft “was operating as it routinely does with waterbombing activities”.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said it took “some time” for ground crews and aerial surveillance to locate the wreckage which is surrounded by difficult terrain and visibility.
Witnesses say the aircraft was a fireball as it plummeted into dense bush in the Snowy Monaro.
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