C-130 plane crashes near Jolo; at least 85 on board

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 04 July) —  A Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 aircraft with at least 85 passengers, mostly military personnel, overshot the runway of the airport in Jolo, Sulu and crashed at Sitio Dan Putih in Patikul town at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. At least 15 had been rescued as of 1 p.m.

“Lumampas sa runway” (overshot the runway), Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Cirilito Sobejana said in a telephone interview.  He said at least 15 had been rescued from the burning military cargo plane as of 1 p.m. and rescue operations were still ongoing.

The C-130 cargo aircraft of the Philippine Air Force overshot the runway of the Jolo airport in Sulu and crashed in neighboring Patikul town, in Sitio Dan Putih. Map courtesy of Google Maps
Map of Jolo shows the runway of the Jolo airport in Sulu. The ill-fated aircraft was reported to have overshot the runway. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Sobejana said the aircraft, which took off from Lumbia in Cagayan de Oro City, carried at least 85 passengers, mostly military personnel who had just graduated from a basic military course and were to be deployed at the 11th Infantry Division’s Joint Task Force Sulu.

“Responders are the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” he said. 

Sources at the 4th Infantry Division Training Unit in Camp Bahian in Malaybalay City in Northern Mindanao told MindaNews that those deployed to Sulu had just graduated from a six-month training course.

The new soldiers, mostly from Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental, were recruits of the 4thInfantry Division in Cagayan de Oro  (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera with  a report from Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)