Added by Erik West on March 11, 2013
A military plane crash on Monday claimed the lives of three crew, according to the sheriff’s office in Lincoln County, WA – approximately 100 km (62.5 miles) west of Spokane, Washington.
A witness said he heard a loud boom and saw a plume of dark smoke shortly afterwards. The crash of the Navy EA-6B Prowler occurred at about 13:00 GMT/UTC (08:30 local time). The scene of the crash spans approximately 3.2 km (2 miles).
The most visible part of the crash site is a large crater and scorched ground in a field next to a roadway. The region is mostly farmland, and there were no buildings in the area of the crash; the only victims of the crash are the three occupants that were aboard.
An official at the scene said the plane could have been carrying rocket launchers, yet this is not confirmed. The Navy says the crew were performing routine training at the time of the accident. Some maneuvers are complex and can be dangerous.
Officials are keeping people approximately 1.6 km (1 mile) from the scene of the crash while they investigate. Officials say the bodies of the three occupants may still be in the wreckage.
The crash occurred is close to Fairchild Airforce Base – approximately 16 km (10 miles) west of Spokane, Washington.