MANILA— Analyzing the contents of the black box of the C-130 aircraft that crashed in Sulu will take "around a month," an official of the Philippine Air Force said Saturday, as authorities continued to investigate the deadliest military plane accident in Philippine history.
Philippine Air Force Spokesperson Col. Meynard Mariano said it was "too early to say" how the July 4 plane crash happened. The incident killed 52 people, including 49 soldiers and 3 civilians.
"About isang buwan ang hihintayin natin for the black box to be analyzed," Mariano said in a public press briefing Saturday, adding that the black box was already on its way to the United States, from where the plane was procured.
(We will have to wait for around a month for the black box to be analyzed.)
"Ia-analyze at maghihintay ng kaunting panahon. It is too early to say kung ano ang nangyari sa incident, pero we are doing everything to fast track the investigation," Mariano added.
(They will analyze this and we will have to wait for a while. It is too early to say what happened in the incident, but we are doing everything to fast-track the investigation.)
A plane's black box contains the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which bear crucial information on the events prior to an air accident.
Parts of the aircraft will also be sent to Mactan, where the Air Force has an air base, for repair and reconstruction. This, Mariano said, will hopefully aid them in identifying the cause of the crash.
"Lahat ng anggulo tinitingnan ng imbestigador. Masasabi ko na ang ating recovery ay 100 percent na. Ang gagawin natin is isasakay sa Navy vessel ang parte ng eroplano sa Mactan at ire-repair, i-reconstruct at titingnan natin ang events sa eroplano," Mariano said.
The number of identified fatalities remain at 20, with all passengers of the plane already accounted for. Authorities have previously noted difficulty in identifying fatalities due to the nature of the accident.
Mariano assured relatives of the still unidentified fatalities that their loved ones would be correctly identified.
"'Wag po sila mangamba at lahat ay ginagawa ng Armed Forces. Makakasigurado tayo na sa dental records na gagawain na makasigurado po na ang kanilang yumao ang ihahatid sa kanila," Mariano said.
(They should not worry as the Armed Forces is doing the best they could to check the dental records. We assure them that we will send the actual remains of their loved ones.)
The C-130 plane that crashed in Sulu on July 4 was a refurbished plane acquired from the US that was just turned over to the Philippines in January.
Video courtesy of PTV