Manila, Philippines (AP) —A Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft carrying combat units assigned to fight Islamic extremists crashed and exploded during landing on South Sunday, with at least 42 Army soldiers on board. And killed three civilians on the ground. The worst disaster in the history of the Air Force. At least 49 other soldiers
Manila, Philippines (AP) —A Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft carrying combat units assigned to fight Islamic extremists crashed and exploded during landing on South Sunday, with at least 42 Army soldiers on board. And killed three civilians on the ground. The worst disaster in the history of the Air Force.
At least 49 other soldiers were rescued from injury, according to military officials, and survived a severe noon crash into a coconut grove outside Holo Airport in Sulu. Three of the seven villagers who hit the ground died.
The aircraft had 96 people on board, including three pilots and five crew members, with the rest being Army personnel, the military said. The pilot survived, but was seriously injured, officials said.
The Lockheed C-130 Heracles was one of two former US Air Force aircraft delivered to the Philippines as part of this year’s military aid.
The aircraft initially took off from Manila with only a few passengers. Among them is Romeo Brauner Jr., a two-star Army General who disembarked in the city of Cagayan de Oro with his wife and three children. on Monday. The Army then boarded the Cagayan de Oro C-130 for a flight to Sul.
Brauner said he was surprised to learn that the plane he had just flown crashed.
“We are very grateful that we have been saved, but it is very sad that so many people have died,” Browner told The Associated Press.
Officials said the injured personnel were taken to Sulu’s hospital or sent to the nearby city of Zamboanga, and the army continued to search for the missing. Citing witnesses, a military statement said, “Many soldiers were seen saving them from the explosion caused by the crash and jumping off the aircraft before reaching the ground.”
The first photo released by the military showed that the tail of the freighter was relatively intact. The rest of the plane was burned or scattered in vacant lots surrounded by coconut trees. Stretchered soldiers and other rescuers were seen entering and exiting the smoke-covered crash site. Immediately after the collision, dark gray smoke swirled there.
The planes were transporting troops from cities in southern Cagayan de Oro for deployment in Sul, many of them new soldiers with basic training.
“They were supposed to take part in our war on terror,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzalez, military commander of Sulu. Government troops have fought against Abu Sayyaf’s militants for decades, primarily in the Islamic province of Sul.
The cause of the crash was not immediately apparent. Lieutenant Corleto Vinluan, a regional military commander, said the aircraft was unlikely to have fired hostilely and quoted witnesses as appearing to have crossed the runway and crashed around the airport.
“The plane missed the runway and tried to regain power, but failed and crashed,” General Cirilito Sobejana, the military chief of staff, told reporters.
Air Force officials told AP that the Holo runway is shorter than most other runways in the country, making it more difficult for pilots to adjust if an aircraft misses a landing site. Officials who flew military planes to and from Holo several times did not have the authority to speak publicly, so they spoke on condition of anonymity.
The first photo showed that the weather in Sul was clearly sunny, even though other parts of the Philippines were experiencing rain due to the approaching tropical cyclones. The airport in Hololive, the main town of Sulu, is a few kilometers (miles) from the mountains where the troops fought the Abu Sayyaf militants. Some militants work with Islamic State groups.
The United States and the Philippines have separately blacklisted Abu Sayyaf as a bombing, ransom kidnapping, and prime minister terrorist organization. It has been significantly weakened by years of government attacks, but remains a threat.
President Rodrigo Duterte expanded his military presence in Suroo to a full sector in late 2018 after vowing to wipe out foreign and local militants of Abu Sayyaf and his allies, with hundreds of additional troops, Deployed Air Force aircraft and other combat equipment.
Government forces at the time were pursuing armed Islamic groups a year later after quelling a five-month siege of southern Malawi by hundreds of militants associated with Islamic State groups. Over 1,000 people, primarily militants and long-standing elusive Abu Sayyaf commanders, were killed in months of violent air raids and ground attacks.
The crash on Sunday occurred as a limited number of military aircraft became more tense as the Air Force helped transport medicines, vaccines and protective equipment to remote island states amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. I will.
The Philippine Air Force has a history of tragic disasters. One of the aircraft crashed in a rice field north of Manila in 1971, killing 40 military personnel. A recently delivered S-701 Blackhawk helicopter crashed more than a week ago near Clark Freeport, a former US Air Force base, killing all six Air Force personnel on board.
The Philippine government has dealt with decades of Islamic and Communist rebellions and territorial rifts with China and other claimants in the South China Sea, leading to years of modernization of Asia’s least equipped army. I’ve been having a hard time.