Three American firefighters died in a water tanker plane crash Thursday while battling wildfires in Australia, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed.
Rural Fire Service officials said they had located the plane, a C-130 Hercules, that crashed in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales state.
Coulson Aviation in Oregon said in a statement that one of its C-130 Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission. It said the accident was “extensive" but had few other details.
"We are deeply saddened to confirm there were 3 fatalities," Coulson's statement said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three crew members onboard."
Berejiklian also gave "heartfelt condolences" to the families and said flags in New South Wales would be flown at half-staff Friday.