Philippine authorities have ordered an investigation into the crash of the Air Force plane that overshot a runway killing 47 soldiers on board, three civilians on the ground and injuring dozens.
The aircraft, carrying recently graduated troops bound for counter-insurgency operations, had been trying to land at Jolo airport in southern Sulu province.
Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ordered an investigation into the country’s worst military air disaster in nearly 30 years. Country’s military spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo said that all 96 passengers on board had been accounted for, with 49 military personnel injured as well as four civilians on the ground.
He added that they are determined to find out what really transpired in this very tragic incident, because according to available information the aircraft followed the specified protocols.
The military command said the soldiers were flying to the provincial airport of Jolo from Laguindingan, about 460 km to the northeast, to be deployed to their battalions.
The army in the sprawling Philippine archipelago has been fighting a long war in the area against Islamist militants from Abu Sayyaf and other factions. Officials said that there was no sign the plane was brought down by insurgent fire.