More plane debris recovered; DILG chief remain missing-A A +A
Sunday, August 19, 2012
MANILA (Updated 2:13 p.m.) -- More debris of the twin-engine Piper Seneca aircraft carrying Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo were recovered Sunday morning off Masbate where the plane crashed Saturday.
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas said that as of 9 a.m. Sunday, a wing of the aircraft with number "431" was recovered.
"Debris - appears to be (from the) right wing. Numbers are part of aircraft designation RPC-4431," Roxas posted on Twitter.
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the fuel tank of the plane was also recovered.
The search and rescue operations for Robredo and two missing pilots continue as of this posting Sunday, with Roxas and President Benigno Aquino III leading the efforts in Masbate.
The President, along with other officials, flew to Masbate early Sunday to oversee the operations.
"Throughout the night, search and rescue operations for Secretary Jesse Robredo and party continued," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
Malacañang said it will issue updates on Robredo's condition as they become available.
(Photos courtesy of PCDSPO, Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines on Facebook, Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) on Facebook)
Robredo was with his close-in bodyguard Police Senior Inspector Jun Abrazado and the two pilots identified as Captain Jessuo Bahinting and Nepalese Kshitiz Chand aboard the small plane when the crash happened around 4:20 p.m. Saturday.
The group was en route to Naga from Cebu when they attempted to make an emergency at the Masbate City airport when one of the plane’s propellers malfunctioned. They did not make it to the airport, as the plane plunged into the sea, 200 to 300 meters away from the airport runway.
Abrazado survived the accident, but sustained injuries.
He told President Aquino on Sunday that the plane's right engine conked out 30 minutes after takeoff at Mactan International Airport in Cebu.
"Nung nakita na niya na magso-short sila ng runway, niyakap na niya si Secretary Jess at sinigurado niya na ang kanilang mga seatbelt ay nakatali, tapos yun na nga tumama na sila sa tubig at nawalan siya ng malay. Tumama yung ulo niya sa upuan sa harap niya, may punit nga yung labi niya," Roxas said in a radio interview.
"Nung nagkaroon siya ng malay, kinapkap niya kasi seatmate niya si Sec. Jess pero di na niya mahanap at hindi rin niya matanggal ang kanyang seat belt so lumangoy siya palabas ng cabin. Nung nagkamalay kasi siya, halos dibdib na niya ang tubig sa loob ng cabin," he added.
It was Abrazado who reported the accident Saturday and went to the area to pinpoint where exactly the crash happened. He is now recovering at a hospital in Masbate, reports said. (Sunnex/With PNA)