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Update: At least 52 killed in PAF C-130H crash in Sulu Province

At least 52 people were killed when a Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130H Hercules medium transport aircraft carrying 96 military personnel crashed in the southern Philippine province of Sulu on 4 July, according to the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND).

Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement that the aircraft crashed as it overshot the runway while trying to land at Jolo Airport around 12.00 h local time. All passengers aboard the C-130H, which had three pilots and five crew, were Philippine Army personnel being deployed to the province.

The DND said that at least 52 people died in the incident, including three civilians on the ground, while 51 were injured, including four civilians on the ground.

The incident took place in an area where the Philippine military has been fighting militants from the Abu Sayyaf group and other factions, although military spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that there is so far no indication that the crash was the result of an attack. An official investigation into the incident has been launched.

Images of the burning wreckage at Patikul show that the aircraft bore tail number โ€˜5125', which identifies it as a recently acquired, second-hand C-130H operated by the PAF's 220th Airlift Wing.

Commissioned in February, the ex-US Air Force (USAF) transport was the first of two platforms of the type procured by the PAF under the US Excess Defense Articles Program. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered later this year.

The C-130H transport that crashed on 4 July had been delivered to the PAF in late January (as shown in this picture).  (Philippine Air Force)

The C-130H transport that crashed on 4 July had been delivered to the PAF in late January (as shown in this picture). (Philippine Air Force)

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