Three US firefighters died while battling wildfires in Australia when the C-130 tanker they were flying in crashed in the southern section of the country, officials said Thursday.
The firefighters were killed in the crash after leaving the town of Richmond in New South Wales state on a firebombing mission, local officials said.
“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,” Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said after the crash.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian tweeted about the tragic deaths, writing that flags would be lowered to half-staff to commemorate them.
“Out of respect for the three US firefighters who lost their lives operating a Large Air Tanker, flags will fly at half-mast in NSW tomorrow,” Berejiklian wrote.
It’s not clear where in the US the firefighters were from. More than 1,700 firefighters were battling wildfires in the country.