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3 dead US fire bombers retrieved from Australian forest

Posted at 7:08 AM, Jan 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-26 21:02:35-05

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- The bodies of three U.S. flying firefighters and the cockpit voice recorder from the water bomber in which they died battling Australia's unprecedented wildfire crisis have been retrieved.

The firefighters died when their C-130 Hercules tanker crashed on Thursday after dumping fire retardant on an out-of-control blaze northeast of the town of Cooma in southern New South Wales state. A police statement says their bodies were retrieved from a still-active fire zone.

RELATED: Firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing 3 Americans

They were taken to Sydney. Their relatives who began arriving Saturday will be offered an opportunity to visit the hillside crash site.

Among those killed was 42-year-old First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson from Buckeye, Arizona.