29 killed after Air Force plane crashes in Sulu

Agence France-Presse
29 killed after Air Force plane crashes in Sulu
In this handout photo taken on July 4, 2021 and received from the Philippine military Joint Task Force-Sulu (JTF-Sulu), smoke billows from the wreckage of a Philippine Airforce C-130 transport plane after it crashed near the airport in Jolo town, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao.
Handout / Joint Task Force-Sulu / AFP
In a latest development, the death toll from the Patikul plane crash climbed to 50. Read that story here.


COTABATO, Philippines (UPDATE 5, 6:13 p.m.) — At least 29 people were killed and 50 injured Sunday when a Philippine military aircraft carrying troops crashed and burst into flames after missing the runway in the country's south, officials said.

Another 17 on board the C-130 Hercules transport plane when it crashed while trying to land on Jolo island in Sulu province are still missing, Major General William Gonzales said in a statement.

"This is a sad day but we have to remain hopeful," he said.

Ninety-two people, most of them army personnel, were on board the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft when the accident happened as it tried to land on Jolo island in Sulu province around midday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.

Photos taken by local media outlet Pondohan TV and posted on their Facebook page showed the wrecked body of the plane engulfed in flames. A plume of thick black smoke rose above houses located near the crash site.

Armed Forces Chief General Cirilito Sobejana said the aircraft had been carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro on the southern island of Mindanao when it "missed the runway" as it tried to land on Jolo. 

The plane tried to "regain power but didn't make it," he told local media, describing the accident as "very unfortunate". 

"Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives," Sobejana told AFP.

Sobejana said the 40 rescued were being treated at the nearby 11th Infantry Division hospital.

Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano said the cause of the crash would be investigated.

"We are on rescue mode right now," Mariano told AFP.

It was being treated as an accident rather than an attack, Armed Forces spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo told DZBB radio.

The four-engine plane crashed near a quarry in a lightly populated area, First Lieutenant Jerrica Angela Manongdo told AFP, adding the rescue operation had finished.

Initial reports said the aircraft overshot the landing strip and broke into two, Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan told AFP. 

Most 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 region.

The military has a heavy presence in the southern Philippines where militant groups, including the kidnap-for-ransom outfit Abu Sayyaf, operate.

One of the deadliest

C-130 aircraft, the work horses of the air force, are used to transport troops and supplies. They are also often deployed to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The mishap was one of the country's deadliest military aviation accidents. 

Senator Richard Gordon said it was the fourth this year with "mass casualties". 

"Are we buying defective crafts w the people's money?" he tweeted.

Sunday's accident comes after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed last month during a night-time training flight, killing all six on board. 

Three pilots and three airmen died when their S70-i went down near the Crow Valley training range north of Manila, prompting the grounding of the entire fleet. 

The country ordered 16 of the multi-role aircraft from a Polish firm that made them under licence from the Sikorsky division of US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Eleven have been delivered since late 2020.






As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 31, 2022 - 1:48pm

Seven people have been tragically killed as their plane plummeted into a house in Bulacan.

Retrieval operation is ongoing. 

FULL STORY: 7 dead as small plane crashes in Bulacan residential area

May 31, 2022 - 1:48pm

Nepali rescuers have retrieved the bodies of all 22 people from a plane that crashed in the Himalayas, authorities say as they begin identifying the victims.

"All bodies have now been found," Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Deo Chandra Lal Karn tells AFP.

Air traffic control lost contact with the Twin Otter plane shortly after it took off from Pokhara in western Nepal on Sunday morning and headed for Jomsom, a popular trekking destination.

May 29, 2022 - 4:07pm

A passenger plane with 22 people on board went missing in Nepal on Sunday, the operating airline and officials said, as poor weather hampered a search operation.

The Twin Otter aircraft operated by Tara Air took off from the western town of Pokhara bound for Jomsom at 9:55 am (0410 GMT) but air traffic control lost contact after 15 minutes.

"We are trying to locate the possible area where the aircraft might be," Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for Tara Air, told AFP.

"Search and rescue teams from both the police and the army are heading towards that direction." — AFP

May 9, 2022 - 6:34pm

An airline official says a jetliner attempting to land in Mexico City aborted its approach at the last second to avoid hitting a plane taxiing on the runway.

Video circulating on social media showed the near-miss involving two Airbus jets belonging to low-cost Mexican carrier Volaris Saturday night at Benito Juarez Airport, the busiest in Latin America.

The airline did not disclose the flight numbers, exact model of aircraft or how many passengers were aboard. — AFP

April 21, 2022 - 8:28am

At least five people died in a small commercial plane crash in Haiti on Wednesday, according to police, with the pilot the only person on board to survive. 

The aircraft was flying from the capital of Port-au-Prince to the southern town of Jacmel, Pierre Belamy Samedi, police chief in the suburb Carrefour where the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, told AFP. 

"I saw five unmoving bodies and at least three injured people who were not in the plane," he said, adding that the pilot — who is not Haitian — was the only person on board who survived the crash. — AFP

April 8, 2022 - 9:01am

A cargo airplane broke up during an emergency landing in Costa Rica on Thursday, in an accident that provoked the temporary closure of the international airport in San Jose.

Smoke was billowing from the bright yellow plane of German logistics giant DHL as it ground to a halt, having slid off the runway when it spun and broke up around the rear wheels.

Two crew members aboard were "in a good condition," said the chief of Costa Rica's firefighters, Hector Chaves. — AFP

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