Military plane carrying soldiers crashes in Patikul, Sulu

A C-130 Hercules military plane crashed in Patikul, Sulu, after it "missed the runway trying to regain power" before noon on Sunday, July 4, the military said.

An update from the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) Western Mindanao Command as of 6 pm Monday, July 5, said the crash killed at least 52 people.

"We are doing our best effort to rescue the passengers," AFP chief General Cirilito Sobejana said in an interview with defense reporters on Sunday.

At least 17 of those rescued were brought to the hospital at the 11th Infantry Division in Busbus town in Sulu, while 32 were evacuated to Zamboanga.

The military's latest update also put the total number of military personnel on the plane at 96, higher than the 93 from initial reports.

In addition to the soldiers, the plane was carrying five military vehicles. The C-130 is an American-built turboprop that is commonly used by militaries around the world and is sometimes kept in service for decades.

Most of the passengers were new soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) training unit of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Earlier this month, a newly acquired Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a night training flight, killing six people onboard. That crash happened about two months after another helicopter, an MG-520 attack chopper, crashed in the central Philippines, killing its pilot. And in January, a refurbished UH-1H Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter also crashed in the south, killing seven soldiers. – with reports from Reuters/

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.