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Not the 1st Philippines Air Force Lockheed C-130 Transport Aircraft Crash, Patchy Air Safety Record

C-130 aircraft of Philippine Air Force crashed on Sunday. (Twitter/@AlertsPea)

C-130 aircraft of Philippine Air Force crashed on Sunday. (Twitter/@AlertsPea)

A Philippines Air Force C-130 crash in 1993 killed 30 people, while a 2008 crash of the civilian variant of the Lockheed plane flown by the Philippines Air Force killed 11 people.

A Philippines Air Force troop plane crashed and broke up in flames on a southern island on Sunday, killing at least 45 people after some jumped free, officials said, in the country’s worst military air disaster in nearly 30 years. The Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft, carrying troops bound for counter-insurgency operations, crashed with 96 people on board.

The plane had attempted to land at Jolo airport, but overshot the runway without touching down. It failed to regain enough power and height and crashed at nearby Patikul. Military chief Cirilito Sobejana said the plane had “missed the runway trying to regain power".

“A number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash," the Joint Task Force Sulu said in a statement. It was not immediately clear how many jumped or whether they had survived.

Jolo island, part of the Sulu archipelago, is about 950 km (600 miles) south of the capital, Manila. The Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft, with registration 5125, had only recently arrived in the Philippines.

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It was one of two aircraft provided by the U.S. government through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, a government website said in January. It quoted an air force spokesman as saying the aircraft would boost capability for heavy airlift missions.

The website C-130.net said the plane that crashed had first flown in 1988. The model is a workhorse for armed forces around the world.

The Philippines armed forces have a patchy air safety record. Last month a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training mission, killing six people.

A Philippines Air Force C-130 crash in 1993 killed 30 people. A 2008 crash of the civilian variant of the Lockheed plane flown by the Philippines Air Force killed 11 people, the Aviation Safety Network says.

The country’s worst plane crash was that of an Air Philippines Boeing 737 in 2000, which killed 131 people.

A military spokesman, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, said there was no sign of any attack on the plane, but an investigation had yet to begin as efforts were focused on rescue and treatment.

Jolo airport has a 1,200-metre runway that usually takes civilian turboprop flights though occasionally some military flights, according to a Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesperson.

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first published:July 05, 2021, 11:35 IST