A Philippines Air Force plane crash in the southern Philippines that happened on Sunday has claimed a recorded fifty lives in a crash that is said to be the country’s worst military air disaster in decades.
The C-130 military plane missed it’s runway on the island of Jolo, according to Cirilito Sobejana, Armed Forces Chief. He also revealed that the plane was transporting troops from Cagayan de Oro, in Mindanao, to Sulu province when the unfortunate incident happened.
The plane, which was carrying 96 military personnel and crew, crashed into nearby Patikul village.
A press release by Joint Task Force Sulu stated that, “Minutes after the crash, troops and civilian volunteers rushed to the site for search and rescue. Per eyewitnesses, 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.”
Also, a spokesperson for the military, Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said all victims have now been accounted for. He also said that 47 army personnel died, while 49 survived the crash and are being treated in hospitals. Three civilians on the ground were killed and four were injured, Arevalo said.
He added that the soldiers on the flight were fresh graduates and had just completed military training.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 aircraft had recently arrived in the Philippines. It was one of two aircraft granted by the US government’s military financing program, according to a US government website announcement in February.
The plane was considered to be in good condition. It had 11,000 flying hours left before it was due for maintenance.
All C-130s in the Philippines will now be grounded as part of the military’s standard operating procedure. However, the military only has one other C-130 in the country – the other two in the fleet are overseas for maintenance.