A military plane carrying at least 85 people crashed Sunday (July 4) in the southern Philippines, the armed forces chief said. Forty people have so far been rescued from the burning aircraft, a C-130, which crashed while trying to land on Jolo Island in Sulu province.
The plane “Missed the airstrip and then tried to regain power but failed”General Cirilito Sobejana told Philippine media. “Help is there, we pray that other lives can be saved”, he added to Agence France-Presse. He said the forty people rescued were taken to a military hospital for treatment.
Planes to deliver humanitarian aid
Many of the passengers on the plane had recently received basic military training. They were sent to this island as part of a joint counterterrorism task force in that region.
The army is very present in the south of the Philippines because of the presence of the Islamist group Abou Sayyaf, considered as a terrorist organization by Washington. This group split into several factions, some of which have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organization. It is made up of a network of activists to whom bloody attacks and kidnappings of foreign tourists and Christian missionaries are attributed.
The C-130s are military transport aircraft also often used to deliver humanitarian aid and disaster relief.