COTABAT, 04 July: A C-130 military plane carrying at least 85 people crashed in southern Philippines on Sunday, announced the country’s armed forces chief.
So far, 15 people have been rescued from the burning wreckage of the C-130, which crashed as it tried to land on Jolo island in Sulu province, General Cirilito Sobejana told media.
“Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” Sobejana said.
Many of the passengers had recently graduated from basic military training and were being deployed to the restive island as part of a joint task force fighting terrorism in the Muslim-majority region.
The military has a heavy presence in the southern Philippines where militant groups, including the kidnap-for-ransom outfit Abu Sayyaf, operate.
Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has died after a prolonged illness, according to several news reports and later confirmed by his family.
News reports say Aquino had been undergoing dialysis for at least five months and had recently undergone heart surgery. According to international media, he was hospitalised earlier in the day on Thursday.
Benigno, 61, served as the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016 and was succeeded in office by the incumbent, Rodrigo Duterte.