MANILA – According to the Department of National Defense (DND), the death toll from the ill-fated C-130H Hercules plane crash in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday has risen to 50.
The DND announced in an update on Sunday evening that 47 of the victims are military members and the other three are civilians.
For injuries inflicted in the crash, 49 military personnel and four civilians are being treated.
A number of 32 military personnel were taken to Zamboanga City for treatment, while 18 remained at the 11th Infantry Division hospital at Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu.
All of the passengers, pilots, and crew members have been rescued. Meanwhile, the search for the C-130’s black box continues.
Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said the Army is “doing its best” to save the injured.
“Rest assured that the PA is ready to provide assistance to their families and take care of the wellbeing of the injured personnel. Our hearts are with all the people who are sorrowed by this tragedy,” he said.
One of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) C-130H cargo jets was involved in an accident while landing in Jolo around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The plane took off from the Col. Jose Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on its way to Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro, where it transferred people to Jolo.
The aircraft was one of two C-130Hs obtained through a US government grant and delivered to the country on January 29. On February 18, it was formally welcomed into the PAF fleet during a ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that was designed and produced by Lockheed Martin.
The C-130 was initially built as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft, with the ability to use unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings.