50 people were killed when the Philippine Air Force plane crashed in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday, July 4 2021.
“All victims have now been accounted for, 47 army personnel died, while 49 survived the crash and are being treated in hospitals. Three civilians on the ground were killed and four were injured” said Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, a spokesman for the military.
The soldiers on board were fresh graduates and had just finished military training, he added.
“Minutes after the crash, troops and civilian volunteers rushed to the site for search and rescue. Per eyewitnesses, a number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash,” according to the press release by the Joint Task Force Sulu.
The plane was supposed to transport troops from Cagayan de Oro to Sulu in order to help in the ongoing fight against terrorism.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 was one of the two C-130H the country acquired through a grant from the US government. It arrived in the country last January 29 and was welcomed to the Philippine Air Force fleet at the Villamor Air Base on February 18.
The plane was reported to be in good condition and had 11,000 flying hours left before it needed maintenance.
As part of the military’s standard operating procedure, all C-130 in the country will be grounded, although the military only has another C-130. The other two are overseas for maintenance.
This tragic incident comes mere weeks after the S-70 Helicopter crash that happened last June 24, 2021.
The crash took the lives of 3 pilots and 3 crew members while on a night flight training. The other Black Hawk Helicopters were suspended until further investigation.