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Team faces challenges retrieving bodies from plane wreckage on Mayon

Retrieval team had a hard time recovering the bodies of the four people inside the Cessna plane that crashed in an area on the westside slope of Mayon Volcano, Mayor Carlos Baldo of Camalig, Albay said Saturday.

“Actually pahirapan po talaga ang sitwasyon doon sa itaas. Kapag ginagalaw kasi nila ang bodies ng mga nakasakay sa eroplano, nagdadalusdos ang mga buhangin doon,” Baldo said in a Dobol B TV interview.

(The situation was really difficult up there. If the team tried to extract the bodies from the wreckage, it could trigger rockslides.)

Baldo said the retrieval team is planning to use anchor bolts to attach ropes for their safety as they retrieve the bodies of the pilot, a crew member, and two passengers.

“Kailangan pa nilang mag-drill para lang ibaon ang bolt para makabitan ng mga lubid,” Baldo said.

(They need to drill for the bolts on which  the ropes could be attached.)

Baldo added that the retrieval team is having difficulty moving around due to thick fog, rain, and the zero visibility in the area.

Some belongings of the passengers were recovered and turned over to SOCO.

Citing information from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Baldo said the aircraft allegedly did not go through the flight plan, as the Mayon Volcano was placed under Alert Level 2, and declared a no-flight zone.

On Saturday, CAAP said the Bicol International Airport air traffic controllers lost contact with the crashed Cessna 340 airplane.

CAAP said the Cessna 340 (Caravan) aircraft with registry number RP-C2080 departed Bicol International Airport at 6:43 a.m. last Saturday, February 18. —LBG, GMA Integrated News