Death toll in C-130 Sulu crash rises to 52
MANILA, Philippines—The number of fatalities in the C-130 plane crash in Sulu has climbed to 52, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday (July 5).
Two more military personnel were confirmed dead, bringing the death toll among their ranks to 49. Three civilians were also killed.
At least 51 had been injured—47 military personnel and four civilians, according to the 6 p.m. update sent by Lorenzana to reporters.
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 plane was carrying 96 military personnel, mostly new Army recruits being deployed for combat against the Sulu-based faction of Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine terror group with ties to Islamic State. The plane crashed as it was landing in Patikul, a town in nearby Jolo. All those on board had already been accounted for.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules that crashed was one of two refurbished planes that the Philippines acquired from the United States through a security assistance program.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the plane was in “tip-top shape” and had 11,000 flying hours remaining before its next scheduled maintenance.
He said an investigation was ongoing and the AFP was “determined to find out what really transpired in this very tragic incident.”
Sunday’s plane crash was deemed as the worst air disaster in recent Philippine military history.
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