C-130 catches fire before takeoff in Clark, all safe: PAF
A C-130 Hercules cargo plane of Philippine Air Force (PAF) ferrying students of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) caught fire before it took off at the runway of Clark Airbase in Pampanga on Wednesday morning.
Major Aristides Galang, Philippine Air Force spokesman, said fire on the C-130 with tail number 4726 was reported at its left side around 7:10 am.
“In five minutes, the fire truck were able to react. At the same time, the fire truck of PAF also reacted. At 7:36 am, fire out was declared,” he said.
Galang said the PAF is investigating the incident.
“We cannot yet tell the cause of the fire (incident). As of now... there is an ongoing investigation... As of now we cannot yet release information,” he said.
Galang said the C-130 aircraft ,with a total of 122 passengers and crew, were bound to Palawan before it proceeds to Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea.
He said the passengers, including students of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), safely alighted from the aircraft during the incident.
“Its mission is to ferry the MNSA (Master in National Security Administration) students, under NDCP, in Palawan. I think they will be visiting the Spratly Island as part of the curriculum of NCDP,” Galang said.
“That’s part of their curriculum. It’s a course, part of their lesson strategically. They need to visit the area,” he added.
Galang said because of the incident the operation of the PAF's four C-130 were suspended so they could be inspected.
“When we have incident involving aircraft, as procedure, what we do is we suspend the flying operations. For example, the particular unit like the C-130. It is under the 220th Airlift Wing. They can suspend all C-130 aircraft to conduct an inspection to all aircraft as part of the standard operating procedure. It is a safety procedure, he said. Robina Asido/DMS