MANILA — A Philippine Air Force aircraft with 92 troopers and crew members aboard crashed on the southern island of Jolo on Sunday, officers mentioned. At least 17 individuals have been killed, and it was feared that the toll would climb.
The head of the Philippine armed forces, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, mentioned the aircraft missed a runway whereas attempting to land. He mentioned it crashed close to a village referred to as Bangkal within the city of Patikul, a stronghold of the militant group often called Abu Sayyaf. He mentioned 40 individuals had been rescued.
“We are doing our best effort to rescue the passengers, our ground commanders are already there,” General Sobejana mentioned. “They are trying their best to put out the fire. So far we have 40 people rescued and being treated.”
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, a high commander within the area, mentioned 17 our bodies had been recovered.
The aircraft, a C-130 Hercules, was carrying at the very least 84 troopers, three pilots and 5 crew members, in addition to 5 army automobiles, officers mentioned. The C-130, an American-built turboprop, is utilized by militaries around the globe and is typically saved in service for many years.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana mentioned he had “ordered a full investigation to get to the bottom of the incident, as soon as the rescue and recovery operation is completed.”
The aircraft that crashed on Sunday first flew in 1988, and it was utilized by the United States Air Force till it was bought to the Philippines in January, in keeping with the Philippine Air Force and a web site that tracks C-130s worldwide.
The Philippine army has been attempting to modernize its growing old fleet. Earlier this month, a newly acquired Black Hawk helicopter crashed throughout an evening coaching flight, killing six individuals onboard.
That crash occurred about two months after one other helicopter, an MG-520 assault chopper, crashed within the central Philippines, killing its pilot. And in January, a refurbished UH-1H Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter additionally crashed within the south, killing seven troopers.
In 2008 a Philippine Air Force C-130 crashed into the ocean shortly after taking off from Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao, killing 9 crew members and two passengers aboard.
The troopers on the aircraft that crashed Sunday have been being flown to Jolo to bolster the army’s operations towards Abu Sayyaf, a small Islamist group that the Philippine authorities considers a terrorist group.
A faction of Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, was blamed for the January 2019 bombing of a cathedral on Jolo, which was carried out by an Indonesian couple and killed at the very least 23 individuals. The Philippine authorities imagine an analogous assault close to the cathedral in 2020, which left 14 lifeless, was perpetrated by the identical Abu Sayyaf faction. Its chief, Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, is since thought to have been killed, and the army has been ramping up its operations towards the group in hopes of eliminating it.
Austin Ramzy contributed reporting from Hong Kong.