C-130s grounded until after thorough investigation; death toll now at 31
Death toll from C-130 crash climb to 31; plane was one of the latest acquisitions by the Philippine government
MANILA – At least 31 were reported to have died after a Philippine Air Force C-130 crashed in a village in Patikul, Sulu at midday today.
Sources at the Armed Forces of the Philippines said 29 of the fatalities were military personnel aboard the C-130 plane and two civilians on the ground. The same source said 50 military personnel and four civilians were injured while 17 other military personnel are still unaccounted for as of this writing.
AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana is now in Jolo, Sulu according to sources at the AFP Public Information Office.
The ill-fated transport plane was just turned over to the Philippine Air Force in simple ceremonies at the Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City last January 29,2021.
In a statement last January 29,2021, it was learned the C-130H with tail number 5125 was the first of the two aircraft granted by the United States Government under the Security Cooperation Assistance.
“The aircraft will provide enhanced capability in terms of heavy airlift missions to support movement of troops and cargoes during Territorial Defense Security and Stability and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations,” the PAF statement last January disclosed.
The Philippine Air Force rendered the traditional welcome water salute to the C-130H immediately after its arrival.
Meanwhile, Navy Captain John Zata of the AFP Public Affairs Office said there are five C-130s in the AFP’s inventory but two are undergoing maintenance. With the mishap, there are only two C-130s for transport. However, it is customary that planes are grounded until after a thorough investigation is accomplished. (Melo M. Acuña)
Philippine Air Force officials welcome the C-130H in simple rites at Colonel Jesus Villamor Airbase in Pasay City last January 29,2021. (PAF Photos)