Military plane catches fire at takeoff from Clark Air Base

Rambo Talabong
Military plane catches fire at takeoff from Clark Air Base
(UPDATED) All 122 passengers and crew members are safe after firefighters immediately responded to the scene

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A Philippine Air Force (PAF) plane caught fire at takeoff from the Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Wednesday morning, March 27. All 122 passengers and crew were safe.

According to PAF spokesman Major Aristides Galang, a C130 plane carrying National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) students bound for Palawan took off at around 7:10 am and immediately caught fire at its “holding point” on the left side.

The plane was able to stop and firefighters immediately responded. The flames were declared put out at 7:36 am.

“Wala namang nasaktan ni isa sa mga passengers natin (No one was hurt, not even one),” Galang said in a phone interview.

There were 115 passengers, mostly NDCP students, and 7 crew members aboard. Galang said the students were off to Palawan for an activity under their Master in National Security Administration program.

The military is now investigating how the fire broke out.

Galang said the incident will not lead to the grounding of all C130 planes of the military. –

Editor’s Note: An earlier verision of this story stated that it was a Philippine Army plane. This has been corrected to Philippine Air Force.

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.