Plane Crash Kills 17 As Aircraft Bursts Into Flames
At least 17 people have been killed after a military aircraft crashed in the southern Philippines.
The Philippine Air Force’s Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft crashed and burst into flames following a landing mishap on the island of Jolo, crashing in the mountainous town of Patikul in the province of Sulu.
It’s understood 92 people had been onboard, including three pilots and five crew members. The rest of those onboard were army personnel.
A total of 17 bodies have been recovered so far, while at least 40 people have been rescued from the crash, and taken to hospital, as confirmed by Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana.
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules had been one of two former US Air Force planes given to the Philippines this year, with the purpose of offering military assistance, AP News reports.
At the time of the crash, according to military chief of staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the aircraft had been transporting troops from the southern city of Cagayan de Oro city to be deployed in Sulu, a predominantly Muslim province where forces have battled Abu Sayyaf militants for many years.
Although it is not yet clear what caused the plane to crash, regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan has stated that it was unlikely the aircraft came under fire, citing witnesses who said that it seemed to have overshot the runway.
Military chief of staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said:
It’s very unfortunate. The plane missed the runway and it was trying to regain power but failed and crashed.
An air force official, who has remained anonymous, told AP News the Jolo runway is shorter than the majority of others in the Philippines, meaning it would be more difficult for pilots to adjust if a plane were to miss the intended landing spot.
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