Australia fires: US crew dead in firefighting plane crash – BBC News

Three US firefighters who died when their air tanker crashed while battling blazes in Australia have been identified.

Captain Ian McBeth, 45, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 43, and flight engineer Rick A DeMorgan Jr, 44, were killed in New South Wales on Thursday.

The cause of the C-130 Hercules crash is not yet known.

New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian called it an “unbelievable loss” and offered a state memorial.

Officials lost contact with the plane, owned by Canadian firefighting company Coulson Aviation, shortly before 13:30 local time (02:30 GMT).

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In This Story: New South Wales

New South Wales is a southeastern Australian state, distinguished by its coastal cities and national parks. Sydney, its capital, is home to iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Population: 7.544 million (Sept 2014)

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