The crash was at least the fifth deadly accident involving a United States military aircraft since early April and the first of a U.S. military C-130 since July, when 16 service members were killed in a MS crash.
A local official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, says there are no apparent survivors.
After more than 60 years of government service, the huge plane was being flown into retirement in Arizona, reducing Puerto Rico's National Guard fleet to five similar planes, two of which need maintenance and aren't being used, Adjutant General Isabelo Rivera said.
Photographs showed the charred wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames and billowing black smoke.
Photos and videos taken at the site of the crash show heavily damaged aircraft parts, indicating a severe impact. Meanwhile, Highway 21 will remain closed "indefinitely", according to officials.
The cause of the crash is established.More news: Cricket Australia optimistic of India playing D/N Test
Denise Barnes was at her desk working at a construction firm when she heard a boom so loud it shook the building.
Nine people are feared dead after a military cargo plane crashed in the USA state of Georgia, officials say.
Reep said the fact that the C-130 crashed shortly after takeoff provides a clue as to what happened. At least five National Guard members from Puerto Rico were killed. He says "it nearly looked like it stalled and just went nearly flat right there in the middle of the highway".
The C-130 cargo plane belonged to the 156th Air Wing out of Puerto Rico.
One Instagram user, pilotgabe, posted a picture of the scene from the Hilton Head International Airport.
The officers had earlier told that five members of the crew aboard the plane have died, but later it was revealed that other people were also in the plane. Paul Dahlen says it's a sad day for Puerto Rico's National Guard.More news: Louis Arthur Charles: The British Royal Baby's Name Is Revealed
The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 21 at Crossgate Road.
The 165th Airlift Wing confirmed the crash happened during a training exercise.
The U.S. Air Force confirmed to Reuters that there were fatalities but declined to provide a number.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport said flights were being impacted by the plane crash and urged travelers to check with airlines regarding their flights.
Emergency personnel work at the scene of an Air National Guard WC-130 cargo plane that crashed near Savannah, Ga., Wednesday, May 2, 2018.More news: Real Madrid reaches 3rd straight Champions League final
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