COTABATO CITY - A C-130 military plane of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed before noon on Sunday in Sulu.
The said plane was about to land in Jolo port in Sulu when the incident occurred at 11:30 a.m.
"A C-130 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force with tail #5125 figured in a mishap upon landing in Jolo. The said aircraft took off from CJVAB to Lumbia Airport and subsequently ferried personnel to Jolo," the PAF said in a statement.
Rescue operations are ongoing as of posting time.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Cirilito Sobejana confirmed that at least 40 personnel have so far been rescued from the burning military cargo plane.
He also confirmed that at least 85 persons boarded the C-130 plane.
“Responders are at the site now. We are praying we can save more lives,” he said in a phone interview.
Most of the passengers are military personnel who were to be assigned to the Philippine Army's 11th Infantry Batallion's Joint Task Force Sulu after graduating recently from their basic military course.
"One of our C-130s while transporting our troops from Cagayan de Oro, na-miss niya 'yung runway trying to regain power, at hindi nakayanan. Bumagsak doon sa may Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu," Sobejana told reporters.
(One of our C-130s while transporting our troops from Cagayan de Oro missed the runway trying to regain power, and was not successful. The plane crashed in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.)
"We are doing our best effort to rescue the passengers," he said.
"'Yung ating ground commander nandu'n na, si General Gonzales doing his best effort na maapula 'yung apoy at ma-rescue safely 'yung mga passengers," Sobejana said.
(Our ground commander, Gen. Gonzales, is already there, doing his best effort to put out the fire and rescue the passengers safely.)
"So far meron na tayong 40 na na-rescue at kasalukuyang ginagamot sa 11th ID Hospital sa Busbus, Sulu," he said.
(So far we were able to rescue 40 who are now being treated at the 11th Infantry Division Hospital in Busbus, Sulu.)
In January this year, seven people died after a PAF UH-1H helicopter crashed near Barangay Bulonay in Bukidnon. —KG, GMA News