4 die in Alaska crash of C-17

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A Boeing C-17 cargo plane crashed and burned Wednesday evening on Elmendorf Air Force Base, killing the four crew members aboard, according to the Air Force.

Three of the crew were members of the Alaska Air National Guard and the other was active-duty Air Force from Elmendorf, the Air Force reported Thursday. Their names have not yet been released.

“Our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those airmen killed in this crash,” Col. John McMullen, commander of Elmendorf’s 3rd Wing, said in a written statement overnight. “Yesterday, we lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family, and it’s a loss felt across our entire joint installation.”

Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, the highest-ranking military official in Alaska, told reporters Wednesday night that the crew was practicing for the Elmendorf air show planned for this weekend when it crashed. The huge, four-engine jet, known as the most advanced cargo aircraft in the world, crashed in what witnesses described as a huge ball of flame.