Plane crash victims recovered |

Plane crash victims recovered


UNADILLA, Ga. (AP) – Military workers slogging through a muddy field Monday finished recovering the remains of all 21 people killed in the crash of a National Guard cargo plane.

The remains of the victims – three crew members from Florida and 18 members of the Virginia Air National Guard – will be flown Tuesday to an Air Force mortuary in Dover, Del.

The recovery team had been slowed by 3 feet of slippery mud caused by a 4-inch deluge of rain Saturday, when the C-23 Sherpa went down. Wind and sunshine helped dry the field Monday.

”It’s not sloppy muddy the way it was,” Sheriff Van Peavy said.

Once the bodies were removed, crews began concentrating on retrieving wreckage.

The plane’s data and voice recorders were recovered Sunday, but military officials declined to say whether they contained any clues to the cause of the crash.

Lt. Col. Deborah Bertrand, a Robins Air Force Base spokeswoman, said it could be months before the Army Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., announces a cause of the crash.

A crew from the Florida Army National Guard was flying the plane, taking members of the Virginia Air National Guard home after a two-week training mission in Florida. Peavy said light rain was falling at the time of the crash.

According to Peavy, witnesses said the plane appeared to glide in rather than hit the ground nose first, exploding on impact.

Residents who saw the crash have said the plane’s engines sputtered briefly before the plane fell out of the thick clouds.

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