A Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 aircraft carrying troops crashed and broke into flames in a southern province on 4 July, claiming the lives of at least 50 people.

According to information provided by CNN Philippines, the aircraft crashed after missing the runway shortly before noon on 4 July in the Patikul village of Sulu province in the southern Philippines.

During its attempt to land at Jolo airport, the aircraft overshot the runway without touching down.

The Lockheed Martin-built C-130 transport aircraft was carrying troops assigned for counter-insurgency operations. It had 96 people on board, including the crew.

A total of 47 army personnel and three civilians on the ground died in the incident while 49 survived the crash.

Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tweeted: “I have ordered a full investigation to get to the bottom of the C-130 incident, as soon as the rescue and recovery operation is completed.

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“I ask everyone to join us in praying for the pilots, crew, passengers of the ill-fated C-130 aircraft, as well as their families.”

CNN cited Philippines Armed Forces major general Edgard Arevalo as saying that the soldiers on board the aircraft were recent graduates who had just finished military training.

The latest incident is said to be the country’s worst military air crash in nearly three decades.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules involved in the crash was one of two ex-US Air Force (USAF) aircraft that were delivered to the Philippines this year as part of military assistance.

The Philippines will now ground all C-130s in the country as part of the military’s standard operating procedure (SOP).

However, the military possesses only one other C-130, with the other two in the fleet operating overseas for maintenance.