GEORGIA (ABC NEWS)- Police released 911 calls on Monday made by frightened onlookers as a WC-130 military plane crashed in Georgia last week and took the lives of nine airmen with the Puerto Rico National Guard.
The calls, some taken just seconds after the crash, offered details of the chaotic scene in Savannah, Georgia, last Wednesday when the WC-130 nose-dived onto a highway, covering the roadway with debris, and filling the surrounding area with thick clouds of black smoke.
There were no survivors.
“Yes, a plane just crashed. I’m looking at it right now and it’s up in flames,” one nearby witness said, giving authorities early details about the intense situation unfolding on the ground.
“I’ve got flames and smoke everywhere and stuff coming out of the sky,” another eyewitness said.
“It just literally nose-dived into the road,” another said.
The first call came in at 11:27 a.m. and it wasn’t long before dozens more followed, according to Savannah ABC affiliate WJCL, which obtained copies of the calls on Monday.
The Savannah Police Department released nearly four hours worth of 911 recordings from the morning of May 2, when the military cargo plane suffered an apparent malfunction just after takeoff.
“Yes, baby, it’s black smoke,” one frantic caller told a 911 operator. “The plane like incinerated whenever it hit the concrete.”
The plane, which took off from the Savannah airport, was en route to a so-called “boneyard” in Arizona, authorities said. All of the victims were members of the 156th Air Wing of Puerto Rico’s Air National Guard.
“I saw it take off from the airport and I noticed that one of the propellers wasn’t turning,” one female caller said. “And he banked like he was going toward [Interstate] 95, and then all of a sudden he lost altitude and just took a nose dive into the ground.”
“He did a barrel roll and went straight into the ground,” another caller added.
An Air Force official told ABC News that five of the victims were traveling as crew members on the flight and the other four were traveling as passengers. Some of victims had been with the Puerto Rico National Guard for decades.
The U.S. military, which is investigating the crash, has not released any details on what may have caused the crash.