The toll from the crashed Philippine Air Force Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft has risen to 50 as per Philippine News Agency. The plane crashed on July 4 near the Sulu Archipelago in the country’s southwest. The plane was carrying 96 troops and civilians from southern Cagayan de Oro City to Jolo to fight extremists. According to the Philippine Air Force, the plane overshot the runway upon its landing and went crashing into a nearby village, causing a fire.
Earlier, the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Armed Forces Sirilito Sobehana told reporters that another 49 servicemen received injuries of varying severity. All people on board the crashed aircraft have been accounted for.
The aircraft carried military personnel, many of whom were soldiers who had only recently completed basic training.
A total of 32 of the military personnel were brought for treatment in Zamboanga City while 18 are still confined at the 11th Infantry Division hospital at Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu.
The crashed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft is one of two former US-owned transport aircraft transferred to the Philippines as part of mutual aid this year. The aircraft took off from Col. Jose Villamor Air Base in Pasay City en route to Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro and then ferried personnel to Jolo.
The airport on Holo Island is located a few kilometers from the mountainous area where government forces are fighting Islamists associated with the Islamic State terrorist group.