A Philippine military aircraft carrying troops have crashed after missing the runway in the country’s south.
At least 17 people were killed and 40 injured after the crash, The PUNCH reports.
Ninety-two people, most of them army personnel, were on board the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft when the accident happened as it tried to land on Jolo island in Sulu province around midday.
“So far 40 wounded and injured were rescued and 17 bodies recovered,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
According to Armed Forces Chief General Cirilito Sobejana, the aircraft had been carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro on the southern island of Mindanao when it “missed the runway” as it tried to land on Jolo.
The plane tried to “regain power but didn’t make it,” he told local media, describing the accident as “very unfortunate”.
“Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” Sobejana said.
Sobejana said the 40 rescued were being treated at the nearby 11th Infantry Division hospital.
Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano said the cause of the crash would be investigated.
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.