The death toll from the ill-fated C-130H Hercules plane crash in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday has climbed to 50, the Department of National Defense (DND) said.
In an update Sunday evening, the DND said 47 are military personnel while the three others are civilians.
Some 49 military personnel and four civilians are undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the crash.
A total of 32 of the military personnel were brought for treatment in Zamboanga City while 18 are still confined at the 11th Infantry Division hospital at Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu.
All passengers, pilots and crew have been retrieved. Meantime, the search for the C-130’s black box is ongoing.
Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said the Army is “doing its best” to save the injured.
“Rest assured that the PA is ready to provide assistance to their families and take care of the wellbeing of the injured personnel. Our hearts are with all the people who are sorrowed by this tragedy,” he said.
At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, one of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) C-130H cargo planes figured in a mishap upon landing in Jolo.
The aircraft took off from Col. Jose Villamor Air Base in Pasay City en route to Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro and then ferried personnel to Jolo.
The aircraft was one of the two C-130H acquired through a grant from the US government that arrived in the country last January 29. It was formally welcomed to the PAF fleet during a ceremony at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on February 18.
The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin.Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft.