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Three American firefighters dead after Large Air Tanker crashes while fighting Australian wildfires

Earlier this afternoon, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it had “lost contact” with a Lockheed C-130 Hercules being used in water bombing operations in the Snowy Monaro area.

Firefighters, emergency services and military personnel launched a search and rescue operation and located the wreckage.

However, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said all the crew members were “tragically” killed.

“[The aircraft] impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground,” he said.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said there was no indication on what caused the accident, but the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) was working to determine what happened.

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