Three Americans Killed in Australia Firefighting Plane Crash

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Three Americans died Thursday when a C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker crashed while battling wildfires in the Snowy Monaro region of Australia’s southern New South Wales state, officials said.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the deaths and crash in comments to reporters as Australia attempts to deal with an unprecedented fire season that has left a large swath of destruction.

Coulson Aviation in the U.S. state of Oregon said in a statement that one of its C-130 Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission. It said the accident was “extensive” but had few other details.

“The only thing I have from the field reports are that the plane came down, it’s crashed and there was a large fireball associated with that crash,” said Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

He said all three aboard were U.S. residents.

“Unfortunately, all we’ve been able to do is locate the wreckage and the crash site and we have not been able to locate any survivors,” he said.

Berejiklian said there were more than 1,700 volunteers and personnel in the field, and five fires were being described at an “emergency warning level.”

Firefighters battle the Morton Fire as it consumes a home near Bundanoon, New South Wales, Australia, Jan. 23, 2020.

Also Thursday, Canberra Airport closed because of nearby wildfires, and residents south of Australia’s capital were told to seek shelter.

The blaze started Wednesday, but strong winds and high temperatures caused conditions in Canberra to deteriorate. A second fire near the airport that started Thursday morning is at the “watch and act” level.
“Arrivals and departures are affected due to aviation firefighting operations,” the airport authority said in a tweet.

Another tweet from traffic police said “the fire is moving fast and there are multiple road closures in the area. Please avoid the area. Local roadblocks in place.”

Residents in some Canberra suburbs were advised to seek shelter and others to leave immediately.

“The defense force is both assisting to a degree and looking to whether that needs to be reinforced,” Defense Minister Angus Campbell told reporters.

“I have people who are both involved as persons who need to be moved from areas and office buildings that are potentially in danger, and also those persons who are part of the (Operation) Bushfire Assist effort,” he said.

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Encuentran muerto a ex presidente estatal del PRI en San Luis Potosí

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Durante la tarde noche de este miércoles, la Fiscalía del Estado de San Luis informó que el cuerpo del ex presidente del PRI en San Luis Potosí, Aurelio Gancedo Rodríguez de 39 años de edad, fue encontrado por Servicios Periciales dentro de un automóvil. 

El hallazgo de tres bolsas negras las cuales en su interior contenían restos humanos, corresponden a una persona del sexo masculino, el cual fue identificado por las autoridades periciales como Aurelio Gancedo Rodríguez, quien se encontraba en estado de desaparecido desde el 21 de enero de 2020. 

Se informó que se realizará la necropsia para conocer las verdaderas causas del fallecimiento. El vehículo fue encontrado por policías preventivos de San Luis en un predio de la colonia Las Mercedes, la cual pertenece a la ciudad Capital. 

La Fiscalía del Estado de San Luis mantendrá las investigaciones necesarias para esclarecer este homicidio y poder dar con los responsables del mismo.


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