A Philippine Air Force plane with 92 soldiers and crew members aboard crashed on the southern island of Jolo on Sunday, officials said. At least 17 people were killed, and it was feared that the toll would climb.
The head of the Philippine armed forces, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, said the plane missed a runway while trying to land. He said it crashed near a village called Bangkal in the town of Patikul, a stronghold of the militant group known as Abu Sayyaf. He said 40 people had been rescued.
“We are doing our best effort to rescue the passengers, our ground commanders are already there,” General Sobejana said. “They are trying their best to put out the fire. So far we have 40 people rescued and being treated.”
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, a top commander in the region, said 17 bodies had been recovered.
The plane, a C-130 Hercules, was carrying at least 84 soldiers, three pilots and five crew members, as well as five military vehicles, officials said. The C-130, an American-built turboprop, is used by militaries around the world and is sometimes kept in service for decades.
The plane that crashed on Sunday first flew in 1988, and it was used by the United States Air Force until it was sold to the Philippines in January, according to the Philippine Air Force and a website that tracks C-130s worldwide.