Jolo military plane crash death toll rises to 45
MANILA, Philippines — The death toll from the C-130 transport plane crash in Sulu on Sunday has risen to 45, the Department of National Defense (DND) reported.
Of those killed, 42 are military personnel, while three are civilians on the ground.
Five military personnel meanwhile remain missing. Injured in the crash were 49 military personnel who were aboard the plane and four civilians who were on the ground.
According to the DND, 32 have been evacuated to Zamboanga while 17 are now being treated at the 11th Infantry Division’s hospital.
Retrieval operations are still ongoing, according to the DND.
The C-130 Hercules transport plane crashed while trying to land on Jolo island in Sulu province, Major General William Gonzales said in a statement.
“This is a sad day but we have to remain hopeful,” he said.
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 fighting terrorism in the Muslim-majority region.
The military has a heavy presence in the southern Philippines where militant groups, including the kidnap-for-ransom outfit Abu Sayyaf, operate.
C-130 aircraft, the workhorses of the air force, are used to transport troops and supplies. They are also often deployed to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The accident comes after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed last month during a night-time training flight, killing all six onboard.
The country ordered 16 of the multi-role aircraft from a Polish firm that made them under license from the Sikorsky division of US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
Eleven have been delivered since late 2020. | With a report from John Eric Mendoza, INQUIRER.net
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