COTABATO: A military plane carrying at least 85 people crashed in the southern Philippines on Sunday, the chief of the armed forces said.
BREAKING NEWS: A C-130 aircraft of Philippine Air Force (PAF) with a tail number 5125 and with 85 people onboard crashed today at vicinity of Patikul, Sulu. Fire suppression is ongoing. Standby for more updates. I 📸: Bridge Bridge#PlaneCrash #Patikul #Sulu pic.twitter.com/EyEgTaucXz
– Philippine Emergency Alerts – PEA (lertAlertsPea) July 4, 2021
The C-130 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force had a mishap on landing on the island of Jolo, the air force said in a statement.
“Rescue efforts are ongoing,” it said.
Army Chief Gen Cirilito Elola Sobejana said at least 40 people on board were brought to a hospital and troops were trying to save the rest.
“Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.
Many of the passengers had recently graduated from basic military training and were being deployed to the restive island as part of a joint task force fighting terrorism in the region.
The military has a heavy presence in the southern Philippines where militant groups, including the kidnap-for-ransom outfit Abu Sayyaf, operate.