Clouds, terrain hampering retrieval of Cessna crash victims in Bicol —mayor
Thick clouds and dangerous terrain are hampering the retrieval of the bodies of the four fatalities of the Cessna plane crash in Mayon Volcano, a local official said Friday.
Interviewed on Unang Balita, Camalig, Albay Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo said it is unlikely that the retrieval operations would be completed on Friday.
“Hindi po kakayanin ngayong araw kasi kahit kahapon, kahit maganda yung panahon dito, nako-coveran ng makapal na ulap yung Mayon. Hindi po makagalaw yung retriever natin doon sa taas,” Baldo said.
(We cannot complete the operation today because even when the weather was fair yesterday, Mayon was covered in thick clouds. Our retrievers could hardly perform their task.)
“Kapag ginagalaw nila nang kaunti yung bangkay nagdadausdos pababa 'yung mga rocks doon kaya delikado po sa mga rescuers po natin,” he added.
(When they were moving the bodies, rocks fell down so it would be dangerous for our rescuers.)
For now, Baldo said members of the retrieval team would just set up anchor vaults and ropes to ensure their safety.
The discovery of the four bodies was announced on Thursday, days after the Cessna 340 plane crashed in Mayon, an active volcano.
On February 18, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Bicol International Airport air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane carrying four people — the pilot, a co-pilot, and two passengers.
CAAP said the aircraft with registry number RP-C2080 departed Bicol International Airport at 6:43 a.m. Air traffic controllers last contacted it at 6:46 a.m. when it was approaching the Camalig Bypass Road at an altitude of 2,600 feet.
The plane was expected to arrive in Manila at 7:53 a.m.
The fatalities were identified as pilot Captain Rufino James Crisostomo Jr. and co-pilot Joel G. Martin, and passengers Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam, both foreigners. —KBK, GMA Integrated News