Associated Press: Two dead as French fire fighting plane crashes September 6, 2000 – GRENOBLE, France
Two air crew died and two others were seriously injured when a cargo plane crashed while it was dumping water over a forest fire in south-eastern France. The C-130 Hercules crashed into a hill near the small town of Burzet as it was releasing water over the flames. The plane was owned by a private company and rented by local authorities.
The crew consisted of three Americans and a Frenchman living in the United States. It was unclear which crew members were killed, and authorities said they would not identify them until their families had been notified. The aircraft is believed to have taken off from Marignand airport, in Marseilles.
Rescuers raced to the scene, which was difficult to reach because of the craggy terrain.
The overnight fire destroyed about 100 acres of forest but was under control by Wednesday morning. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Jean-Claud Bernard, a spokesman for the Prefecture de L’Ardeche, told CNN.com: “The plane crashed at 8.56 a.m. (0656 GMT) while dropping water on a forest fire in the hills.