Home Asia At least 45 die as military plane misses runway in Philippines

At least 45 die as military plane misses runway in Philippines

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independent.ie– A military plane carrying troops to fight terrorism in the southern Philippines crashed yesterday after missing a runway, killing 45 people including two civilians on the ground.

At least 40 people out of the 92 on board were rescued and taken to hospital when the aircraft came down in a village in Sulu province on Jolo island.

Some passengers jumped from the fuselage and rescue workers pulled other survivors from the wreckage.

Cirilito Sobejana, the head of the Philippines armed forces, said the plane, flying from Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao, had “missed the runway, tried to regain power, but didn’t make it”.

The runway on Jolo island is shorter than others in the country, according to a military source.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was one of two former American Air Force planes the US gave to the Philippines earlier this year as part of Washington’s military assistance to Manila. The aircraft had been handed over to provide extra support for heavy airlift missions.

The soldiers were among reinforcements sent to the southern Philippines to combat Islamist militants such as the Abu Sayyaf group, which has been branded a terrorist organisation by the US.

Some members have aligned themselves with Islamic State and have been behind several bombing campaigns, kidnappings and beheadings.

In August last year, suspected Abu Sayyaf militants, including a suicide bomber, detonated explosives in Jolo’s main town, killing 15 people and injuring dozens.

Clashes between troops and Abu Sayyaf militants, who operate out of jungle hideouts, usually involve firefights which can last for hours.

Last month, the Philippine military announced that an Abu Sayyaf leader who had kidnapped Filipino and foreign civilians had been killed in a clash in Sulu. Lt Gen Corleto, a Philippines military commander, said it was unlikely the plane had come under fire as it came in to land.

The Philippine air force has a history of tragic disasters. One of its aircraft crashed in a rice field north of Manila in 1971, killing 40 military personnel.

A recently delivered S-701 Blackhawk helicopter crashed a week ago near Clark freeport, a former US air base, killing all six personnel on board (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)

Last month, the Philippine military announced that an Abu Sayyaf leader who had kidnapped Filipino and foreign civilians had been killed in a clash in Sulu. Lt Gen Corleto, a Philippines military commander, said it was unlikely the plane had come under fire as it came in to land.

The Philippine air force has a history of tragic disasters. One of its aircraft crashed in a rice field north of Manila in 1971, killing 40 military personnel.

A recently delivered S-701 Blackhawk helicopter crashed a week ago near Clark freeport, a former US air base, killing all six personnel on board (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)

Last month, the Philippine military announced that an Abu Sayyaf leader who had kidnapped Filipino and foreign civilians had been killed in a clash in Sulu. Lt Gen Corleto, a Philippines military commander, said it was unlikely the plane had come under fire as it came in to land.

The Philippine air force has a history of tragic disasters. One of its aircraft crashed in a rice field north of Manila in 1971, killing 40 military personnel.

A recently delivered S-701 Blackhawk helicopter crashed a week ago near Clark freeport, a former US air base, killing all six personnel on board (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)