Plane crash kills 45 in Philippine

DM Monitoring

MANILA: At least 45 people were killed on Sunday after the military’s C-130H Hercules transport aircraft crashed on landing in the southern Philippines, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.
“The aircraft was transporting our troops from Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan to Jolo when it crashed at Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu just a few kilometers east of Jolo airport,” Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana told Arab News.
“We are currently attending to the survivors who were immediately brought to the 11th Infantry Division station hospital in Busbus, Jolo, Sulu,” he said. Initial information released to the media indicated that there were 96 people on board, mostly army troops, five crewmen and three pilots, while images and videos shared by residents in the area showed thick black smoke billowing from the crash site.
Reports reaching the defense department showed that as of 5:30 pm, 29 bodies had been retrieved from the crash site, while 50 personnel had been moved to hospitals, some of them airlifted to Zamboanga City for further treatment. Of the total, 17 passengers remained unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, two civilians on the ground were reportedly killed and four injured.
Another statement from the Air Force said the C130 plane took off from the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Metro Manila, toward Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro, to pick up troops for duty in Jolo.
Media said, “sketchy reports” showed that the C-130 “overshot the runway” at the Jolo airport as it attempted to land. “It was reported to have bounced, skidded and hit the end wall or the hillside,” he added. Another official who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media said that the “C-130 broke into two and burned.”
The air force has also informed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that they were “pulling small aircraft and helicopters to Zamboanga and Jolo to help evacuation.” Sobejana told reporters that the aircraft was “trying to regain the power to make another attempt to land” after it missed the runway “but failed and ended up crashing in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.”
Joint Task Force Sulu commander, Major Gen. William Gonzales, said that the passengers included new army privates en route to Sulu to fight terrorism in the area. “We remain hopeful that we can find more survivors. Our search and rescue is still ongoing with 17 personnel unaccounted for,” Gonzales said. “These individuals were supposed to report to their battalions today. They were supposed to join us in our fight against terrorism.”
“This is a sad day, but we have to remain hopeful. We enjoin the nation to pray for those who are injured and those who have perished in this tragedy,” he said. Citing witnesses’ accounts, Gonzales said that “a number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash.” He added that minutes after the crash, troops and civilian volunteers rushed to the site to rescue people.