NC man dies in National Guard plane crash in South Dakota

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Devastation left behind by wildfires that spread across Colorado.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina man died when an Air National Guard cargo plane based out of North Carolina crashed while fighting wildfires in South Dakota.

Lt. Col. Rose Dunlap of the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte on Monday told The Associated Press that six crew members were aboard the C-130, but she could not yet provide any information about their condition.

According to, Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, 42, of Mooresville, was among those killed.

At an earlier briefing in Colorado, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jerri Marr said the agency’s thoughts went out to the families of those lost in the crash of the C-130.

The plane went down about 6 p.m. Sunday in the southwest corner of South Dakota, where it had been dropping flame retardant on the 6-square-mile White Draw Fire.

The cause of the crash is not known and the incident is under investigation.

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