Bangkok, Jul 6 (EFE).- Philippine authorities have found the black box of the military plane that crashed in the south of the country on Sunday, killing 52 people, including three civilians, which may help investigators determine the cause of the accident, the armed forces told local media on Tuesday.
“Yes, it was found yesterday at around 11 o’ clock in the morning,” Philippine military chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana said, according to local newspaper, Inquirer.
“The black box is now with the investigators, they were inspecting and listening on the last conversation of the pilot and crew,” he added.
Sobejana said that investigators were still at the scene of the incident, questioning witnesses to obtain more clues about the incident that occurred on the island of Jolo in southern Philippines.
On Monday night, authorities raised the death toll to 52, including three civilians, while 51 people, including four civilians, sustained injuries and are receiving treatment.
The four-engine C-130 Hercules transport plane was trying to land at the airport on the island of Jolo but it missed the runway and, unable to regain height, crashed in a nearby field around 11:30 am on Sunday.
Aboard the plane were recent army graduates deployed to a battalion fighting against several Islamic extremist groups that take refuge in the remote archipelago of Jolo, in the southwest of the Philippines.
The accident puts the spotlight back on the aging and poorly maintained arsenal of the Philippine Army, which generally acquires second — and even third-hand aircraft and helicopters.
The C-130 was delivered to the Philippines earlier this year through a military assistance agreement with the United States, which operated the aircraft between 1988 and 2016. The plane had been in a US base hangar during the last few years.
In June, six people lost their lives when an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training mission near the Clark Air Force Base, north of Manila.