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Chopper carrying lawmaker crash-lands in Tarlac


A Philippine Air Force helicopter carrying a lawmaker and several others crashed in a ravine in Tarlac on Thursday afternoon, a report on Super Radyo dzBB said.

No fatalities were reported, but one crewman lost his arm, according to Colonel Arthur Baybayan, sergeant-at-arms of the Commission on Appointments.

Baybayan said the aircraft, a PAF Sokol helicopter with tail number 923, was carrying eight passengers and crewmen, including Rep. Anthony Bravo of COOP NATCCO party-list. 

"Kasama si Congressman Bravo, yung secretary general ng House [of Representatives], tapos ako, tapos may iba pa," Baybayan said. "Bale walo kami."

He said the chopper was one of the two carrying attendees to the AFP Legislative Stakeholders Engagement from Tridoc in Capas to the Crow Valley Gunnery Range.

Northern Luzon Command chief Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat, meanwhile, clarified that none among the passengers and crew of the chopper lost his arm.

"Wala namang ano, puro injury-injury lang, except 'yung pilot in command plus yung crew medyo masama lang yung tama lang, mga fractured yata, suspected fracture," he said.

In a statement, Armed Forces spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said the incident happened around 1:40 p.m. while the helicopter was "on final approach for landing at vicinity Durongawan, Crow Valley Gunnery Range in Tarlac."

"AFP personnel in the vicinity immediately rushed to help. The injured passengers were immediately given first aid treatment before being evacuated  by the PAF Air Ambulance to a treatment facility," Arevalo said.

He said all those on board were safe, some suffered bruises and minor injuries while the pilot-in-command "sustained a head injury."

Arevalo said Air Force authorities are investigating the incident. —KBK/RSJ, GMA News

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