Philippines military plane crash leaves 7 people dead

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At least 17 people have been killed in a military plane crash in the southern Philippines, but 40 were pulled alive from the burning wreckage.

The military transport aircraft was carrying 92 people, mostly troops, when it overshot the runway on Jolo island.

Survivors were taken to a nearby military hospital. Seventeen bodies were found at the crash site.

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A large ball of black smoke was seen above the wreckage of the plane, a C130 Hercules.

The state news agency carried pictures of the site showing burning debris in a wooded area close to a number of buildings.

The plane, which came down at 11:30 local time (03:30 GMT) a few kilometres from the town of Jolo, was carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro, on the southern island of Mindanao.

“It missed the runway, trying to regain power but it didn’t make it,” armed forces chief Gen Sobejana told reporters.

The soldiers were part of the military’s stepped-up presence in the southern Philippines to combat Islamist militants such as the Abu Sayyaf group.

Officials said there was no sign that the aircraft had been attacked, and an investigation would start once the rescue operation was complete.

Many of those on board had only recently completed basic military training, AFP reports.

-BBC

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