At least 29 people are feared dead and 50 others reported to have sustained injuries when a Philippine military plane crashed before bursting into flames after missing the runway.
At the time of the accident, the military aircraft is reported to have carried about 100 graduates and attempted to land at Jolo island when the incident happened.
Major General William Gonzales tasked with rescue operation confirmed that some of the graduates could be seen jumping out of the plane before it crashed and burst into flames.
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The accident has been termed at the worst in the country’s history as search and rescue operations begin to find 17 people believed to missing after the incident.
Images revealed by local media outlets revealed the tail of the plane sited between coconut trees as a huge smoke rented the air. Search and rescue personnel were also on the spot fully equipped and on the move.
A top military personnel confirmed that those on board had already graduated and were being deployed to the island to conduct operations targeting terrorists in the area.
The plane however failed to aim the run and attempted to regain power before running into the densely populated island. Major General Edgard Arevalo confirmed that the incident will be treated as an accident and not an attack.