A MILITARY transport aircraft carrying 92 people, mostly troops, has crashed in the southern Philippines.
Seventeen bodies were found at the crash site on Jolo island, but 40 people survived and were taken to a nearby military hospital.
The plane, a C130 Hercules, was trying to land at Jolo airport when it overshot the runway, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
Flames and smoke were seen rising from the wreckage.
The state news agency carried pictures of the crash 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 into the cause of the incident would start once the rescue operation was complete.
Many of those on board had only recently completed basic military training, AFP reports.