A Boeing C-17 cargo plane crashed and burned Wednesday evening on Elmendorf Air Force Base during practice for an upcoming air show, killing the four crew members aboard, according to the Air Force.
Three of the crew were members of the Alaska Air National Guard and the other was active-duty Air Force from Elmendorf, the Air Force reported Thursday morning. Their names have not yet been released.
The military is "working through the family notification process," Col. Jack McMullen, commander of Elmendorf's 3rd Wing, said at a news briefing early this morning outside Elmendorf's Boniface gate.
"Our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those airmen killed in this crash," he said in a written statement overnight. "Yesterday, we lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family, and it's a loss felt across our entire joint installation."
At this morning's briefing, McMullen offered few new details about what happened other than to say the crash occurred about a minute after takeoff as the crew practiced for the hugely popular Arctic Thunder air show, which is planned for this weekend. A decision on whether to cancel the show hasn't been made.
"It happened very quickly after takeoff is what I do know," McMullen said. The C-17 had flown earlier Wednesday with a different crew, he said.
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