At least 45 dead after Philippine Air Force plane crash
SULU PROVINCE, Philippines / CNN — A Philippine Air Force plane crashed in the southern Philippines on Sunday, killing at least 45, officials said.
The plane crashed when it missed the runway on the island of Jolo, according to Armed Forces Chief Cirilito Sobejana. It is the country’s worst military air disaster in decades.
The plane, which was carrying more than 90 military personnel and crew, crashed into nearby Patikul village at 11:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.
“Minutes after the crash, troops, and civilian volunteers rushed to the site for search and rescue. Per eyewitnesses, a number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash,” according to a press release by Joint Task Force Sulu.
Images from the scene show a massive amount of smoke and a severely damaged fuselage.
Among those killed are 42 military personnel and three civilians.
At least 50 people were hospitalized after the crash, some being transported to the city of “Zamboanga to undergo further treatment,” according to the statement by the Joint Task Force Sulu.
Military and civilian firefighters have been deployed to put out the fire and rescue operations are focused on pulling survivors from the crash site, according to CNN Philippines.
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