Philippine Air Force Plane Crash Leaves 45 Dead


July 04, 2021

By Jaspreet Kaur

A Philippine flying corps C-130 airplane carrying battle troops assigned to fight Muslim militants exploded while arriving in the south on Sunday, killing at least 42 armed force fighters on board and three civilians on the ground in one of most noticeably terrible disasters in the air force's history.

At least 49 other soldiers were saved with wounds and endure the searing early afternoon collide with a coconut woods outside the Jolo air terminal in Sulu territory, including some who figured out how to hop off the airplane before it detonated and was gutted by fire, military authorities said. Three of seven villagers who were hit on the ground died.

The airplane had 96 individuals on board, including three pilots and five crew while the rest were armed force staff, the military said, adding just five officers remained unaccounted for late Sunday. The pilots survived but were seriously injured, authorities said. 

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was one of two ex-U.S. Air Force aircraft gave over to the Philippines as part of military assistance this year. It smashed on landing in a matter of seconds before early afternoon Sunday in Bangkal town in the town of Patikul in Sulu area, Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said. 

Authorities said the harmed faculty were brought to a hospital in Sulu or traveled to close Zamboanga city and troops were proceeding to look for the missing. "Various soldiers were seen jumping out of the airplane before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash,” a military statement said, referring to witnesses. 

The plane was transporting troops,  a large number of them new troopers who had quite recently gone through basic training, from the southern Cagayan de Oro city for deployment in Sulu, officials said. Government forces have been battling Abu Sayyaf militants in the predominantly Muslim province of Sulu for decades.

Although it was not immediately clear what caused the accident, Regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan said it was unlikely that the aircraft took hostile fire and cited witnesses as saying that it appeared to have overshot the runway, then crashed on the periphery of the airport. "It's very unfortunate,” Sobejana told correspondents. "The plane missed the runway and it was attempting to recover power but failed and smashed."