Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Clark Fiester and seven other people were killed when their Air Force C-21 plane exploded near Alexander City, Alabama. The seven other victims were all military personnel, including Air Force Maj. Gen. Glenn A. Profitt II. En route from Maryland to San Antonio, the plane experienced an unknown emergency that forced the pilot to attempt an unscheduled landing at the Alexander City airport. The cause of the explosion is not yet known. The Air Force is investigating. Fiester was secretary in charge of acquisitions for the Air Force. TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson says Fiester's loss leaves the Air Force without an important ally as they look for money for their planned F-22 fighter plane.