Manila: The death toll from the military plane crash in southern Philippines has increased to 50, the Department of National Defense said on Monday.
All 96 passengers and crew in the C-130H aircraft that crashed upon landing on Sunday on Jolo island in Sulu province have been accounted for, the Department added.
It said 47 soldiers died in the crash while 49 others were injured, adding that three civilians on the ground were also killed and four others wounded, reports Xinhua news agency.
Major General Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, said retrieval operations for plane parts, including the black box, are ongoing at the crash site.
An investigation team is on the way to Sulu, he told a radio interview.
The military plane was carrying newly-trained army personnel when it crashed and burst into flames after overshooting the runway.
Minutes after the crash, troops and civilian volunteers rushed to the site for search and rescue.
“As per witnesses, a number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash,” the military said.
According to Philippine Air Force (PAF) documents, the crashed plane was a second-hand C-130 Hercules recently purchased from the US military.
Military documents showed that the aircraft arrived in the Philippines in January this year.
The US officially turned over the plane during a ceremony in February.
The C-130H aircraft NR 5125 first flew in 1988 and served in US Air Force until it was put in storage in 2016 before it was sold and delivered to the PAF in January 2021, according to local media reports.