The Nation : AF Plane Crashes in Florida Panhandle

An Air Force cargo plane with eight people on board crashed and exploded in a swampy forest north of Hurlburt Field in the Florida Panhandle, officials said. The C-141 Starlifter plane left from Norton Air Force Base, which is 60 miles east of Los Angeles, refueled in Colorado Springs, Colo., and was on its final approach to land at Hurlburt, when air traffic controllers from adjacent Eglin Air Force Base suddenly lost radio and radar contact, officials said. Army Rangers reported an explosion about four miles north of the field, said Airman Joe Geraci, duty officer at the air field. It remained unknown whether there were any survivors, said Hurlburt spokesman Lt. Doug Kinneard. Seven people on board were crew members and one was a civilian passenger, Kinneard said. The area had been hit by strong thunderstorms and lighting but it was not known if weather played a part in the crash, officials said.

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