At least 45 killed in Philippine Air Force plane crash

Plumes of thick, black smoke could be seen rising in the sky after a Philippines Air Force troop plane crashed and burst into flames on Sunday, killing at least 45 people - the country's worst military air disaster in nearly 30 years.

That's according to officials who said a number of soldiers jumped out of the aircraft before it hit the ground.

It was not immediately clear how many jumped or whether they had survived.

The Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft, carrying troops bound for counter-insurgency operations, crashed with 96 people on board.

The plane had attempted to land at Jolo airport, but overshot the runway without touching down.

It failed to regain enough power and height and crashed at nearby Patikul.

A military spokesman said there was no sign of any attack on the plane, but an investigation had yet to begin as efforts were focused on rescue and treatment.