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No survivors after U.S. military aircraft carrying 9 Puerto Ricans crashes in Georgia

Click to play video 'Full U.S. Air Force statement on crash of C-130 in Georgia' Full U.S. Air Force statement on crash of C-130 in Georgia
WATCH ABOVE:Full U.S. Air Force statement on crash of C-130 in Georgia. – May 3, 2018

A crew of nine Puerto Ricans were flying an Air National Guard C-130 into retirement in Arizona when it crashed onto a highway in Georgia on Wednesday, and authorities said there are no survivors.

READ MORE: U.S. Navy jet crashes off Florida coast

Black smoke rose into the sky from a section of the plane that appeared to have crashed into a median on the road. Firefighters later put out the blaze.

Capt. Jeff Bezore, a spokesman for the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Air Wing, said at the time that the crash killed at least five people, but that number has recently been raised to nine. He said he couldn’t say how many people in total were on the plane when it crashed around 11:30 a.m.

WATCH: Warning: This video contains disturbing content. Discretion is advised. Two videos show the moment of impact when a military plane crashed into the ground in Georgia on Wednesday.

Click to play video 'Videos show moment of impact in Georgia military plane crash' Videos show moment of impact in Georgia military plane crash
Videos show moment of impact in Georgia military plane crash – May 2, 2018

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known.

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The Air Force said the plane belonged to the 156th Air Wing out of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico National Guard Spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen told The Associated Press that all those aboard were Puerto Ricans who had recently left the U.S. territory for a mission on the U.S. mainland. He said initial information indicated there were five to nine people aboard the plane, which was heading to Arizona. He did not have details on the mission.

“We are saddened by the plane accident that occurred today in Georgia,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a tweet.

“Our prayers are with the families of the Puerto Rican crew.”

WATCH: Aerials show crashed military plane in Georgia

Click to play video 'Aerials show crashed military plane in Georgia' Aerials show crashed military plane in Georgia
Aerials show crashed military plane in Georgia – May 2, 2018

The plane crashed onto state highway Georgia 21, about a mile from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, said Gena Bilbo, a spokeswoman for the Effingham County Sherriff’s Office.

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“It miraculously did not hit any cars, any homes,” Bilbo said. “This is a very busy roadway.”

WATCH: Air Force confirms crash of military plane in Georgia

Click to play video 'Air Force confirms crash of military plane in Georgia' Air Force confirms crash of military plane in Georgia
Air Force confirms crash of military plane in Georgia – May 2, 2018

The crash caused a big fireball and scattered debris over a large area, Bilbo said.

A photo tweeted by the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association shows the tail end of a plane and a field of flames and black smoke as an ambulance stood nearby.

The only part of the plane that remained intact was the tail section, said Chris Hanks, the assistant public information officer with the Savannah Professional Firefighters Association. The tail section was sitting on the highway and the ground in front of it was black and littered with debris, he said.

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WATCH: Witness describes U.S. military plane crash near airport in Georgia
Click to play video 'Witness describes U.S. military plane crash near airport in Georgia' Witness describes U.S. military plane crash near airport in Georgia
Witness describes U.S. military plane crash near airport in Georgia – May 2, 2018

The Savannah Air National Guard says the plane was doing a training mission when it crashed.

Savannah’s Air National Guard base has been heavily involved in hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. In September 2017, it was designated by the Air National Guard as the hub of operations to the island in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the base announced at the time.

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport said on social media that some flights were being affected though the crash happened off its property. The airport advised passengers to check with their airline for updated flight information.

— Associated Press writers Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Jeff Martin in Atlanta have contributed to this report.