Military Plane Carrying 92 People Crashes in Philippines; 45 Dead

Major General Gonzales said some of the soldiers were seen jumping out of the plane before it hit the ground.

2 min read
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A military plane carrying 92 people crashed in southern Philippines on Sunday, 4 July, leading to the death of 45 people.

The plane crashed while trying to land on Jolo island in Sulu province but missed the runway. So far, 45 bodies have been recovered, reported news agency AFP quoting officials.

Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana told Reuters the plane had been carrying 92 people, including three pilots and five other crew members.

Major General William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force-Sulu, added that some of the soldiers were seen jumping out of the plane before it hit the ground and exploded into flames, AFP reported.
40 people have been rescued from the burning wreckage of the C-130, General Sobejana had said on Sunday. A search for the 17 missing people was underway.

Gonzales said in a statement, "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."

The cause of the crash would be investigated, said Air force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano. While armed forces spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo told DZBB radio that it was being treated as an accident rather than an attack, AFP reported.

Many of the passengers had recently graduated from basic military training and were being deployed to the restive island as part of a joint task force.

C-130s have been the workhorses of air forces around the world for decades. It was reported that the Hercules that crashed on 4 July had the same tail number as the one acquired from the United States earlier this year.

Senator Richard Gordon was quoted as saying, it was the fourth military aircraft accident this year with "mass casualties".

"Are we buying defective crafts... (with) the people's money? [sic]" he tweeted.

Sunday's accident comes after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed last month during a night-time training flight, killing all six on board. The accident prompted the grounding of the Philippines' entire Black Hawk fleet.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP and The New York Times)

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Topics:  Plane Crash   Philippines   Military 

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