At least 17 people were killed and 40 injured when a Philippine military aircraft carrying troops crashed after missing the runway in the country’s south, officials said.
Ninety-two people, most of them army personnel, were on board the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft when the accident happened as it tried to land on Jolo island in Sulu province around midday, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
“So far 40 wounded and injured were rescued and 17 bodies recovered,” Lorenzana said.
Photos taken by local media outlet Pondohan TV and posted on their Facebook page showed the wrecked body of the plane engulfed in flames. A plume of thick black smoke rose above houses located near the crash site.
Armed Forces Chief General Cirilito Sobejana said the aircraft had been carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro on the southern island of Mindanao when it “missed the runway” as it tried to land on Jolo.
The plane tried to “regain power but didn’t make it,” he told local media, describing the accident as “very unfortunate”.
“Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” Sobejana told AFP.
Sobejana said the 40 rescued were being treated at the nearby 11th Infantry Division hospital.