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9 fatalities in Calamba plane crash identified

September 02, 2019 - Monday 12:09 PM by Agence France Presse

Article Banner Image CRASH SITE. Firefighters sift through the site where an air-ambulance plane crashed as they search for the bodies of passengers at a resort area in Calamba City, Laguna Province. Photo by STR / AFP

MBA CITY, Laguna -- The authorities have identified the nine passengers who were killed when the plane they were riding exploded mid-air and crashed into a hotspring resort village in Barangay Pansol here Sunday afternoon.

Lieutenant Colonel Jacinto Malinao, Calamba City chief of police, said in an interview that nine passengers of the 11-seater Lion Air B350 Beechcraft twin-engine plane, including the pilot and co-pilot, were all killed.

The plane came from Dipolog City and was transporting a patient to St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City.

Malinao said the nine passengers were pilot Captain Jesus Hernandez, co-pilot First Officer Lino Cruz Jr., Dr. Garret Garcia, nurses Kirk Eoin Badiola and Yamato Togawa, Ryx Gil Laput, Raymond Bulacja, FM, patient Tom Carr, and the patient’s wife Erma Carr.

The injured victims were identified as John Rey Roca, 19, and Malou Roca, 49, caretakers at Agojo Resort where the plane crashed. They were taken to Jose P. Rizal District Hospital.

Malinao said the medical evacuation plane departed Dipolog City airport around 1:40 p.m. and was bound for Manila when it exploded in mid-air and plunged into the private resort at past 3 p.m.

He said the Police Crime Laboratory Office 4A is now processing the identities of the recovered bodies in coordination with the airline officer at the crash site.

Jeffrey Rodriguez, Calamba City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief, said villagers alerted them on the plane crash, with the aircraft’s burning debris searing through the Agojo Resort building inside Barangay Pansol’s Miramonte Subdivision.

Other plane debris were strewn at the nearby Sun City Resort and at the village poblacion residential area.

As of 8:16 p.m. Sunday, Rodriguez said the nine bodies that were charred beyond recognition had been retrieved from the ill-fated plane’s wreckage.

Inaantay pa po namin ang representative ng CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) para doon sa pag-check nila sa black-box and other debris of the plane para ma-check 'yung cause ng crash at ma-turn over 'yung iba pang mga parts o debris,” Rodriguez said.

(We are waiting for the CAAP representative to check on the black-box and other debris of the plane to ascertain the cause of the crash and turn over the plane parts or debris.)

Firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) put out the blaze around 4 p.m.

Ester Catalan, a member of the Pansol Village Lupong Tagapamayapa (village conciliation/mediation board), said she thanked God no one was hurt from her family members and children, who were playing outside. Some debris were scattered near her residence. PNA