A cargo plane carrying Philippine soldiers crashed on the island of Jolo, southwest Philippines, killing 50 and injuring 53.

The incident happened on July 4, 2021. According to Philippine authorities, the Lockheed C-130H Hercules was carrying 96 military personnel and crew, most of them – graduates just fresh out of military training assigned to fight Muslim militants.

CNN Philippines reported that as of July 5, all victims are accounted for. Of those who perished, 47 were military personnel and 3 were civilians on the ground. 4 more civilians were injured, while all 49 passengers who survived were treated for injuries.

The crash happened near Patikul village, Sulu province. The aircraft was carrying soldiers from Cagayan de Oro city and was supposed to land at Jolo airport (JOL). Upon landing, it overshot the landing strip, crashed into a coconut grove, and exploded.

Eyewitnesses claim some soldiers survived the crash by jumping from the airplane right before the impact. 

Philippine military authorities launched an investigation into the crash and the flight recorder has been recovered. According to the reports, the incident is unlikely to be caused by aircraft malfunction or damage due to enemy fire. 

“The plane missed the runway and it was trying to regain power but failed and crashed,” AP News quotes Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Sulu military commander.

The aircraft in question was one of two C-130s recently transferred to the Philippines from the US military. 

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