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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

C-130 plane crash casualties claim 50 lives, scores injured

C-130 Mishap claims 50 lives; investigation now going on

MANILA – Most of the passengers of the ill-fated C-130H transport plane were fresh graduates from military training. As of 9:00 A.M. today, all the remains were recovered and the identification process is now going on.

This was how Major General Edgard A. Arevalo described the situation in Patikul, Sulu.

Meanwhile, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, in a separate interview over Tapatan sa Aristocrat, said 47 of the fatalities were soldiers while the three others who died were residents of Patikul town.

“Forty-nine soldiers have been injured while four others were Sulu residents,” Governor Tan said.

At a press conference at the AFP General Headquarters, General Arevalo said they appreciate the assistance extended by different airline companies which took part in the medical evacuation.

He added they are in the process of investigating why the mishap took place.

“We assure the families and next of kin of the fatalities and those injured they will receive the necessary assistance and benefits they are all entitled to,” he explained.

It was learned the AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana has left Manila for Sulu to personally look into the situation.

Major General Arevalo called on the general public to avoid speculations as he echoed Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana’s earlier appeal for calm amidst the unfortunate incident.

“The AFP will be transparent in the conduct of the investigation,” General Arevalo said as they will look into the black box also known as the flight data recorder.

He added the plane is not necessarily brand new but in “very good condition” and has 11,000 flying hours left as he downplayed rumors that the aircraft is defective.

He called on the general public to await the investigation results to shed light on the plane’s capacity. However, he said not all the results of the investigation will be for public consumption as they have to be deliberate and accurate to come up with the conclusion at the soonest time.

He declined to comment whether several of the survivors are in critical condition but assured everyone the medical facilities are enough to attend to their situation. There were 96 persons on the plane, three pilots, five crew members.

There are currently four PAF C-130s in the AFP’s inventory. The number includes the ill-fated plane while one has been grounded and two others are undergoing periodic maintenance.

The AFP spokesperson added there are enough contingency and preventive measures and the mishap will not deter them in the pursuit of their goals to thwart the efforts of the enemies of the state.

Dental records have been made available to facilitate the identification of the victims.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is in control and we will not allow any disruption during the investigation,” Major General Arevalo concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

AFP Major General Edgard Arevalo, AFP Spokesman (left) and Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan (right). (Screen Grab from AFP Press Briefing and Tapatan sa Aristocat/Melo M. Acuna)

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