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Plane crash victims' remains expected to be brought down from Mayon on Sunday

Plane crash victims' remains expected to be brought down from Mayon on Sunday

The bodies of the four passengers onboard the Cessna plane that crashed near Mayon Volcano’s crater a week ago are expected to be brought down within the day, according to Camalig, Albay Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr. on Sunday.

Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, the local official said the retrieval team is looking at carrying the remains either by chopper or by foot, depending on the weather.

“Pipilitin namin na maibaba talaga. Supposed to be nga dapat kagabi kaso hindi talaga kayang i-travel ng mga nasa taas natin. Ngayon, mag-i-strategize kami kung ano ang gagawin ulit,” Baldo said.

(We will try to get the bodies down today. It's supposed to be last night, but our team above could not really travel. We will strategize again today about what to do.)

The remains of the four fatalities of the Albay Cessna plane crash were retrieved on Saturday.

Their bodies will be turned over to the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) once brought down from Mayon Volcano for documentation and autopsy.

In a separate dzBB interview, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Office Cedric Daep said that the four bodies were already placed in cadaver bags, two of which were brought to the high camp near the crash site.

“Maganda naman ang panahon ngayon at based sa observation namin, wala namang pressure ang Mayon Volcano para magkaroon ng eruption kaya safe pa rin bumaba doon sa Anuling channel,” he said.

(The weather is good today and based on our observation, Mayon Volcano has no pressure to erupt so the team is still safe to go down through the Anuling channel.)

As to the crashed Cessna plane, Daep said that it will either be retrieved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) or will be used for tourism purposes.

“Kung hindi naman ma-retrieve 'yun, pwede namang gawan ng Camalig ng parang may view deck…opposite at straight talaga ang tingin mo doon sa lugar na ‘yun. Puwedeng lagyan ng binoculars…for tourism purposes, in case hindi na ito ma-recover,” he said.

(If that can't be retrieved, Camalig can set up a view deck...You could stand opposite it and look straight at the plane from that place. Binoculars can also be made available for tourism purposes, in case the plane can no longer be recovered.)

Daep said a Mass will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Barangay Anuling to pray for the fatalities of the Cessna plane crash and for the safety of the retrieval team.

On February 18, Bicol International Airport air traffic controllers lost contact with the Cessna 340 plane carrying four people: the pilot, a crew member, and two passengers.

CAAP said the plane departed Bicol International Airport at 6:43 a.m.

Air traffic controllers last contacted the aircraft at 6:46 a.m., when the plane 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. —KG, GMA Integrated News