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DAN ELLIOTT
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The crash of a North Carolina-based Air National Guard cargo plane that was fighting wildfires in South Dakota has left at least one crew member dead.

The family of Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal of Mooresville confirmed they were notified early Monday that he had died in the C-130 crash on Sunday. The 42-year-old married father of two was a veteran of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Rose Dunlap of the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte says six crew members were aboard, but that she could not yet provide any information about their condition.

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

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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