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50 fatalities of the plane crash already identified, bodies yet to be traced

MANILA, Philippines – A top-ranking official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said yesterday they have already identified the 50 fatalities of the plane crash but they have yet to identify their bodies.

AFP spokesperson Major Gen Edgardo Arevalo told reporters they have now the names of those who died but they are still in the process identifying their remains.

It was also learned that as of press time, some of the bodies of those who were reported dead were already beyond recognition. Only the help of forensic experts would positively identify who the charred remains belong to.

Those who have survived the crash were also brought in different military hospitals in Southern Philippines.

AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana also told newsmen all the 96 mililtary personnel including the the pilots and three civilians on board the C-130 military plane that crashed in Patilul, Sulu, have now been accounted for.

Sobejana said they have already concluded the rescue and retieval operations.

Menwhile, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt Gen Corleto Vinluan confirmed the death toll to have reached an ultimate high of P50 as the remains of the five missing victims have been recovered by the rescue team.  

The military top official said they are also yet to recover the “black box” which could help in the ongoing investigation on what caused the C-130 to overshoot the runway and crash land, killing 50 personnel on board.

Arevalo also announced that flags will be raised half-mast in various military headquarters in the country to honor the fallen soldiers, majority of them newly graduates from military training in Bukidnon province.

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