Rapid City, SD, United States (4E) – A B-1B bomber crashed in southeast Montana’s Carter County on Monday but the four crew ejected to safety on time and survived, according to the U.S. Air Force (USAF).
The plane was on a training mission when it crashed near Broadus, a spokesperson with Ellsworth Air Force Base (EAFB) in Rapid City said. The EAFB is the home of the 28th Bomb Wing, which operates 28 of the remaining 60 B-1Bs in the USAF.
First responders were immediately dispatched to the crash site to attend to the crew, Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander, was quoted as saying by CBS station MTN in Missoula.
The Carter County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the crash that triggered sirens in Ekalaka town between 9 and 10 a.m.
Ranchers in the area saw the B-1B deploy parachutes and heard an explosion before the plane crashed. Then a plume of smoke was seen rising into the sky.
The crash was the second that happened in the state involving a B-1B. In 1997, a similar plane also from the EAFB crashed near Alzada in Carter County. All four crews were killed in the crash.
The USAF is investigating the cause of the crash.