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Air Force grounds C-130s after cargo plane caught fire in Clark

The Philippine Air Force has suspended the operations of the C-130 planes in its inventory pending their inspection.

This developed after a C-130 caught fire as it was about to take off from the Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Wednesday morning.

The aircraft had over 100 passengers and crew on board.

Air Force spokesman Major Aristides Galang  said the aircraft was bound for Puerto Princesa City and Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea when its left side

The incident is being investigated.

Galang said firetrucks arrived within two minutes and immediately got the fire under control.

"Fire out was declared 7:36 a.m.," Galang said.

Galang said there were 115 passengers and seven crew members on board.

The passengers included students of the National Defense College of the Philippines taking up a Master in National Security Administration course.

"Its mission is to ferry the students. They will be visiting Pag-asa Island as part of their curriculum... The aircraft encountered the problem so it didn't push through," he said.

Fortunately, Galang said no one was reported killed or injured from among the passengers and crewmen on board.

"We cant still say the cause of the fire. As now now, we have an ongoing investigation. We are still conducting investigation so we cannot yet release information (on the cause) at the moment," said Galang.

Galang would not say how many C-130s were in the inventory of the Air Force, citing "security reasons" but sources said the C-130s were now down to four after the fire.

"What we did is to suspend the flying operations (of the remaining C-130s)... We suspended the operations of the C-130 to conduct an inspection to all aircraft as part of standard operating procedure," Galang said. —NB, GMA News