Multiple deaths after US military plane crashes in Mississippi

As many as 16 people have been killed after a United States military plane crashed in Mississippi on Monday afternoon (US time).

The Lockheed Martin KC-130 aircraft carrying US Marines crashed after it "experienced a mishap" during flight, a Marine Corps spokeswoman told media.

The plane crashed into an open field in the town of Greenwood before bursting into flames.

According to CBS, the aircraft was a refuelling tanker that took off from Memphis, Tennessee earlier in the day.

The aircraft was under the control of the Memphis Traffic Control Centre and was last seen at 20,000 feet when it disappeared from radar, officials said.

A witness said he heard a boom and looked up to see the aircraft corkscrewing towards the ground.

"You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around," Andy Jones told CBS. "It was spinning down."

Mr Jones added that he tried to get to the crash site but couldn't get close because the resulting fire was too intense.

"Beans [in the field] are about waist-high, and there wasn't much sticking out above the beans," he said.

Local authorities believe debris from the plane is scattered in a radius of five miles (8.1km) around the crash site and the wreckage is still smoking hours after the crash.

So far, 12 bodies have been recovered.