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Investigation into deadly C-17 crash at Alaska's Elmendorf AFB begins

The investigation is just beginning into what caused a Boeing C-17 to crash and burn on Elmendorf Air Force Base on Wednesday evening, killing all four crew members and damaging nearby Alaska Railroad tracks that carry passenger and freight trains.

Despite the deaths, the hugely popular Arctic Thunder air show and open house will go on this weekend, officials announced Thursday afternoon.

Military authorities haven't publicly identified the crew members -- three from the Alaska Air National Guard, one active-duty Air Force -- who were practicing for the air show when the plane went down in a wooded area a couple of miles from the end of a runway.

That should happen today, once the families have had a few hours to grieve in private, said a military spokesman.

This appears to be the first fatal crash involving a C-17, which Boeing bills as the most advanced air cargo plane in the world.

Brig. Gen. Chuck Foster, commander of the Guard's 176th Wing, said he knew of no other. Elmendorf officials were trying to confirm that.

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