Three American crew helping to battle Australia’s devastating bushfires were killed yesterday when their water-bombing plane crashed in mountainous terrain during a sortie to tackle another outbreak of the deadly blazes.
Officials said the Hercules C-130 plane erupted in a large fireball on impact in a national park the Snowy Mountains shortly before 1:30 pm (0230 GMT).
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but an official had said earlier in the day that high winds were making flying the water tankers “very difficult”.
The incident brought the death toll in Australia’s bushfires to at least 32 since the crisis began in September. The crash happened as at least seven fires flared to emergency status following a brief lull brought by rain and cooler temperatures.