***BREAKING NEWS*** Air Force Tanker Down Near Hot Springs UPDATED 10:50 PM
UPDATE 10:50 PM - A helicopter reportedly was able to land near the plane and transport three people to a local hospital. They were then transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital via ambulance. There are still no details as to the nature of the crash, and it was reported that the plane disappeared from radar sometime during the early evening hours. As it is a military plane, any further requests for information are now being handled through the military press office.
UPDATE 10:28 PM - Authorities with the Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team have confirmed that a military firefighting aircraft has gone down near Edgemont. This happened shortly after making a water drop.
UPDATE 10:00 PM - (This story was released by the Associated Press in South Dakota) EDGEMONT, S.D. (AP) — A search-and-rescue operation was launched late Sunday after reports that an airplane went down near a Black Hills forest fire.
Pat Cross, a public information officer with the Fall River County Sheriff's office, told The Associated Press on Sunday evening that his office had "received reports" of a plane going down and that teams were searching for it and any survivors.
Cross could not confirm whether the airplane was being used in the firefighting effort, the kind of aircraft involved or the number of people aboard.
"Our No. 1 priority right now is the search and rescue," Cross said.
Earlier, authorities said the White Draw Fire in Black Hills was 10 percent contained and had burned about 3,000 acres.
The White Draw Fire is about five miles northeast of Edgemont, primarily in a mix of grasslands and timber.
Officials say crews started early Sunday morning ahead of expected unfavorable winds and hot temperatures. Rains on Saturday briefly slowed the advance of the fire.
More than 180 personnel are assigned to the fire. Workers are battling the blaze with the help of four helicopters and three air tankers. More crews and equipment have been ordered.
Officials say firefighters are facing additional hazards with the steep terrain and rattlesnakes.
Residents of five homes near Edgemont were given voluntary evacuation notices Saturday.
(Hot Springs)-Several South Dakota news outlets are reporting that an Air Force tanker has gone down in the Black Hills. According to KELO, the C-130 tanker was helping fight the White Draw Fire between Hot Springs and Edgemont.
Black Hills Fox News is reporting there were six people on board the plane. As of 9:30 pm Sunday, two had been taken to area hospitals, one via flight for life, and four were still unaccounted for. The crash was estimated to have taken place prior to 7 pm.
It is not clear at this time what caused the aircraft to crash, although there were some storms that moved through the area during the evening hours. As more information becomes available, we will pass that along to our listeners.
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