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C-17 fire at Joint Base Charleston under investigation, Air Force says

Air Force investigators are looking into why a C-17 Globemaster III airlift plane caught fire at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., last week.

The plane had returned from a mission and was parked on the flight line ramp April 9 when a fire spread on the aircraft’s left side, base spokesman 2nd Lt. Victor Reyes said in an email Tuesday.

None of the eight people aboard the plane at the time of the incident, including seven crew members and one passenger, were seriously injured, Reyes said.

An image posted to Twitter the same day appears to show charring and other damage to the body of the plane.

Investigators will come up with a cost estimate for that damage as part of their inquiry, Reyes said.

Eight C-17s each suffered at least $600,000 in damages in fiscal 2020, including one belonging to the 437th Airlift Wing that is headquartered at Joint Base Charleston, according to the Air Force Safety Center. One of those incidents involved a fire with the onboard inert gas generating system, a fire safety system designed to reduce the risk of issues like a fuel tank explosion.

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