(UncleSam) – Jolo island, Philippines -A C-130 Hercules Philippine military aircraft that had been refurbished overshot the runaway on Sunday and crashed in the jungle, killing 50 Filipino troops, and wounding 49. The incident comes after a new S-70i Black Hawk helicopter that was recently delivered crashed over a week ago, killing all 6 airmen aboard. The USAF gave two of the refurbished plane s to the Philippine military earlier this year.
The C-130 military plane was transporting 96 troops and crew from Cagayan de Oro to Sulu province. The runways at the airport on Jolo are well known for being short. The incident occurred at 11:30 a.m. (local time) on Sunday.
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Horrified troops and onlookers witnessed the crash. The plane slammed into a coconut grove at the end of the runway and burst into flames. Troops were able to rescue 49, including a few who jumped from the plane just before it exploded. Seven people on the ground were hit with parts from the aircraft; three of them died.
At least 45 people were killed when a Philippine Air Force plane crashed and broke up in flames in the southern province of Sulu, the country’s worst military air disaster in nearly three decades https://t.co/Y4WXObKn39 pic.twitter.com/MfCXhb6JTA
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 5, 2021
— TOKITOH (@_TOKITOH) July 6, 2021
The plane was one of two refurbished U.S. Air Force aircraft handed over to the Philippines, Washington’s oldest treaty ally in Asia, as part of military assistance this year…
Those who boarded the C-130 in Cagayan de Oro for the flight to Sulu were army troops, many of them newly trained recruits, to be deployed in the battle against Abu Sayyaf militants in the south.
“They were supposed to join us in our fight against terrorism,” Sulu military commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales said. Government forces have been battling Abu Sayyaf militants in the predominantly Muslim province of Sulu for decades.
All of the country’s C-130s are now grounded. The plane that crashed had 11,000 flying hours left before due for maintenance. They only have one other available in their fleet of four C-130s, as the other two are overseas for maintenance. The Philippine military is one of the least equipped forces in the world, and has struggled to upgrade their equipment as they face the terrorist group Abu-Sayyaf. They have been working hard to upgrade their capabilities.
The government is investigating the crash, and looking for the black box and voice recorders. They are also looking into the men who jumped from the plane prior to the explosion.