Three dead in Australian air tanker crash

Photographers take photographs of the Large Air Tanker (LAT) C-130 Hercules, also known as ‘Thor’, as it drops a load of around 15,000 liters during a display by the Rural Fire Service ahead of the bushfire season at RAAF Base Richmond Sydney, Australia, September 1, 2017. (File photo: Reuters)

Three people have been killed after an air tanker crashed in a fireball on Thursday while fighting bushfires in Australia’s alpine region, said Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of the southeastern state of New South Wales.

The state’s rural fire service had said it lost contact with the C-130 Hercules aircraft shortly after 2 p.m.

“There appear to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area,” Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

“It’s impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground.”

Last Update: 06:24 KSA 09:24 - GMT 06:24