Plane crash left corpses burnt beyond recognition in record-breaking air tragedy

Nearly 50 soldiers and three civilians were left dead and burnt beyond recognition after a horror plane crash in the Philippines – the victims are being honoured this week

The mass disaster left civilians and troops dead

It has been one year, since a plane crashed and claimed the lives of 50 people in a record-breaking aviation tragedy in the Philippines.

On July 4 2021, a Philippines Air Force Hercules C-130 was named as part of the country’s worst military air disaster to take place in 30 years.

The disaster happened after a military transport plane, which was carrying 96 passengers and crew, suffered a catastrophic crash in Salu.


It was reported that a total of 49 passengers survived the horror ordeal, while 47 soldiers and 3 civilians were declared dead, according to the Joint Task Force Sulu.

A truck was pictured carrying a body bag with the remains of a victim

The aircraft took off from Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base and was carrying new privates of the Philippine Army, who were meant to be deployed.

Travellers were heading to Lumbia Airport at the time of the incident.

The corpses were left burnt beyond recognition, with the victims needing to be identified through different methods including DNA.

Smoke could be seen near the wreckage

It was reported that five soldiers were named through this process, with a spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division stating that some families needed the reassurance to know their loved ones had actually died.

“We have resorted to the more reliable DNA tests as well as the dental records for matching,” Major Francisco Garello said at the time.

One of the fallen soldiers had only recently welcomed his baby girl into the world at the time, reports

Army personnel rushed to the scene

His wife Emabel was advised not to open his casket due to the severity of the burns.

“I have to accept this no matter how painful it is for the sake of our child,” she said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Cirilito Sobejana said the aircraft was transporting troops when it overshot the runway and hit Patikul village.

The AFP stated that the C-130s are “the sturdiest in the inventory of the military service.”

The victims are being honoured this week

“These are used not just in the military but also relief operations, including the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines,” they added.

On Monday ( July 4, 2022), The Philippine Air Force ( PAF) honoured the victims of the C-130 crash on its first anniversary by hosting a mass, reports ABS-CBN.

Last year, Commanding General Connor Anthony Canlas Sr held a wreath-laying ceremony in Villamor Air Base.

It has been named the worst aviation disaster in the country for three decades

The month before the disaster, six people were killed after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed mid-way through a training mission in the Philippines’.

In 2008, an aircraft flown by the air force crashed and killed 11 people. While in 1993, 30 people were pronounced dead after a Philippines Air Force C-130 collision took place.

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