A C130 Hercules, Philippines military plane crashed earlier this morning. 92 people were on board. 17 people have been confirmed dead and 40 people have survived and were taken to a nearby military hospital.
The plane crashed in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, 950 kilometres/600 miles south of the capital, Manila. The condition of the remaining soldiers is currently unknown.
Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the C130 was trying to land at the Jolo airport but overshot the runway.
Seventeen bodies were found at the crash site on Jolo island, but 40 people survived and were taken to a nearby military hospital. Fire and smoke curled out the wreckage, blackening trees and charring coconuts.
Officials say there was no evidence the aircraft was the victim of an attack. An investigation is planned once the rescue mission is finished.
The soldiers were part of the military’s increased presence in the southern Philippines to combat groups such as the Abu Sayyaf.
According to an AFP report, several of the soldiers on board had just completed basic training.
The aircraft was 1 of 2 planes that the U.S. gave the Philippines through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, says a government website.
The Philippines military forces have had their shares of crashes:
- Last month, a Black Hawk helicopter went down during a training mission, leaving 6 people dead.
- In 2008, a Lockheed plane being flown by the Philippines Air Force crashed, killing 11 people.
- In 2000, an Air Philippines Boeing 737 crashed, killing 131 people.
- In 1993 A Philippines Air Force C-130 crashed, killing 30 people
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