NEW SOUTH WALES: A waterbombing plane battling the bushfires, crashed here today at 1.30PM killing three US firefighters onboard bringing the death toll to thirty-two.
According to details a water tanker (C-130 Hercules aircraft) attempting to tackle Australia’s bushfires crashed as augmenting temperatures and strong winds stoked out-of-control blazes southwest of Sydney.
Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons informed that authorities lost contact with the aircraft, which was operating in the Snowy Monaro region.
Canadian firm Coulson Aviation that owns the aircraft was grounding its operations of large air tankers fighting fires in New South Wales and Victoria states pending review of the planes.
Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW, tweeted: “Heartbreaking & devastating news that three US residents who were crew members operating a LAT in the Snowy Mountains region have lost their lives. Our thoughts & heartfelt condolences are with their families & the tight knit firefighting community.”
State’s Rural Fire Service Tweeted: “Fire dangers are just starting to peak, and we’re in for a long afternoon and night across many areas of NSW.
Traffic police proclaimed: “The fire is moving fast and there are multiple road closures in the area. Please avoid the area. Local road blocks in place.”
Defense Minister Angus Campbell told: “The defense force is both assisting to a degree and looking to whether that needs to be reinforced. I have people who are both involved as persons who need to be moved from areas and office buildings that are potentially in danger, and also those persons who are part of the (Operation) Bushfire Assist effort.”
The fire near the Pialligo forest threatened homes and forced the closure of Canberra airport. It has since reopened, but several flights were cancelled and the city was once again blanketed by thick smoke. People in NSW and the ACT were asked to conserve energy until 8 pm tonight because of the pressure extreme weather is taking on the grid.