A Philippines military transport aircraft with at least 85 people on board has crashed in the south of the country, the armed forces say.

More than 40 people have been rescued and have been taken to hospital, armed forces chief Cirilito Sobejana, said.

The plane, a C130 Hercules, was trying to land in Jolo island in Sulu province when it overshot the runway.

Seventeen bodies are said to have been recovered from the crash site at Patikul.

Flames and smoke were seen rising from the wreckage.

The plane, which crashed at 11:30 local time (03:30 GMT), was carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro, on the southern island of Mindanao.

“It missed the runway, trying to regain power but it didn’t make it,” Gen Sobejana told reporters.

The soldiers were part of the military’s stepped-up presence in the southern Philippines to combat Islamist militants such as the Abu Sayyaf group.

The state news agency carried pictures of the crash site showing wreckage on fire in a wooded area close to a number of buildings.