A Philippine air force helicopter on Wednesday crashed in a southern province amid bad weather, killing all four people on board, authorities said.
The S-76A Sikorsky went down in a rubber plantation in Basilan province, 900 kilometres south of Manila, said air force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Aristides Galang.
It was on its way to nearby Jolo island from Zamboanga City for a medical evacuation mission, Galang said.
“There was no distress call from the pilot before the accident happened,” he said.
Heavy rain battered the area before the crash, local officials said.
“There was an explosion before the aircraft crashed,” said Richelle Perez, chief of the local police force, citing accounts from witnesses.
The bodies of the two pilots and two crew members were recovered from the charred debris of the plane.
Investigators were still determining the cause of the crash, Galang said, adding that the air forces’ eight other Sikorsky helicopters have been grounded amid the investigation.