Philippines: Military plane crash, kills dozens

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A military plane crashed in the Philippines, killing fifty people- dozens were injured in the accident.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft was carrying 96 combat troops.

On Sunday, the plane exceeded the runway at Jolo airport in Sulu Province. Following this, it slammed into a coconut grove past the airport and burst into flames as some horrified soldiers and villagers witnessed the accident.

The people who died were mainly military personnel. Apart from that, three civilians on the ground were also killed- said the defence ministry.

Initially, five people were said to be missing, but all passengers on board have now been accounted for.

A representative from the Armed Forces of the Philippines said that they were looking for the flight data recorder to find the reason behind the crash.

According to Major Gen Edgard Arevalo, there was no sign of any sort of attack on the plane.

It was at 11:30 local time (03:30 GMT) that the plan came crashing down, a few kilometres from the town of Jolo. It was carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro, on the southern island of Mindanao.

“It missed the runway, trying to regain power but it didn’t make it,” armed forces chief Gen Sobejana told reporters.

The Joint Task Force, Sulu, issued a statement saying: “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”.

Besides, the authorities gave no information about how people managed to get out of the plane or their condition.

The AFP reports said that majority of the soldiers on board had recently completed their basic military training.

This plane was handed to the Philippines in January, after being in service with the US Air Force previously.

It was the first of two used Hercules to be delivered by the US under a defence co-operation scheme.

The aircraft first flew in 1988, according to Aviation Safety Network. 

 

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