A C-130 plane of the Air Force carrying 92 military personnel crashed in Sulu, before noon Sunday, killing at least 17 people and injuring 40 more, authorities said.
Those onboard were three pilots, five aircrew, and Army personnel reporting for duty, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
“So far, there are 40 wounded and rescued and 17 bodies recovered. Rescue and recovery is ongoing,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Armed Forces chief, said the 40 passengers who were rescued are now being treated at the military station hospital in Brgy. Busbus, Jolo.
Citing field reports, Sobejana said the C-130 plane (tail no. 5125) crashed around 11:30 a.m. while transporting troops from Cagayan de Oro City.
“Na-miss nya ‘yung runway [while] trying to regain power at hindi nakayanan, bumagsak doon sa may Brgy. Bangkal, Patikul,” the military chief told reporters.
The plane also caught fire, which rescuers are now trying to put out, he said.
The incident occurred barely two weeks after a Black Hawk helicopter of the Air Force crashed in Tarlac, killing all six military personnel onboard. d in Tarlac, killing all six military personnel onboard.
The ill-fated C-130 no. 5125 was one of two such units acquired through a grant from the United States government.
It arrived in the country last January 29 and was formally welcomed to the PAF fleet during a ceremony at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, last February 18.
Lorenzana said during the ceremony that the acquisition cost P2.5 billion, with the Philippines paying P1.6 billion and the U.S. about P900 million.