One day after a military aircraft carrying nine members of the Puerto Rico National Guard crashed in Georgia, the names of the nine victims have been released.
The crash occurred on Wednesday morning after a military C-130 aircraft crashed on Highway 21 in Port Wentworth close to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
According to the statement by the Puerto Rico National Guard obtained by PEOPLE, the airmen who lost their lives were Maj. José R. Román Rosado, who was piloting the aircraft at the time of the crash, Maj. Carlos Pérez Serra, who was in charge of navigating, co-pilot 1st Lt. David Albandoz, the aircraft’s mechanic, Senior Master Sgt. Jan Paravisini, and Master Sgt. Mario Braña, who was the fight engineer.
Master Sgt. Jean Audriffred, Master Sgt. Víctor Colón, Senior Airman Roberto Espada, and Master Sgt. Eric Circuns.
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Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera added that “taking care of our fallen Airmen’s families and loved ones is our top priority.”
“We are fully supporting them and providing all the assistance and resources of the Puerto Rico National Guard during this difficult moment,” Rivera continued.
All but one of the fallen airmen have been survived by their children.
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Hours after the accident occurred on Wednesday, the National Guard confirmed the deadly crash.
“While performing a training mission, a United States C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard crashed about 11:30 a.m. today near the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport. Personnel are on the scene responding. A board of officers will investigate the accident,” the National Guard wrote in a statement on Facebook.
The United States air force also confirmed the crash as they offered their “thoughts and prayers” to those who had been affected.
We are saddened by the tragic news of an Air National Guard C-130 crash earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and Airmen close to those affected by this event.
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) May 2, 2018
In a press conference on Thursday, Col. Pete Boone of the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard said a cause for the crash had not yet been determined, according to WSAV.
“An investigation is currently in progress to determine the cause of this tragic event and ways to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future. It’s extremely important for us to fully understand what has happened,” Boone continued.
According to ABC News, on Thursday an Air Force official said that at the time of its crash, the plane was headed to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where it was being decommissioned.
Nine airmen from the Puerto Rico National Guard were killed in yesterday’s military plane crash, officials say pic.twitter.com/k0zKzi4bGc
— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) May 3, 2018
On Thursday, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office announced that Highway 21 would be closed indefinitely.
“There is a 600’ x 600’ debris field that is being investigated by the military,” the sheriff’s office statement said, according to CNN.