KIDAPAWAN CITY -- All eight passengers, including a Philippine Air Force (PAF) general, and a civilian were charred to death after the Nomad aircraft carrying them crashed on a residential area in Cotabato City.
The plane took off from Awang airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao at around 11:35 a.m. Thursday, PAF official said.
One of those killed was identified as Major General Mario Lacson, chief of the 3rd Air Division based in Zamboanga City.
Also died were PAF officials Major Presco Tacuboy, Lieutenant Alexander Ian Lepaet, Staff Sergeants Reynaldo Mejia, Cristy Maria Rose Llanera, Jeffrey Gozum and the two pilots, identified as Captain Genaro Ordoño and Lieutenant Angelica Valdez.
Lieutenant Colonel Gerol Gagan, deputy chief of the Tactical Operations Group (TOG-11) based in Davao City, said the Nomad plane with body number B-80 came from Davao City dropped off TOG 12 chief Colonel Cris Tumanda and four other passengers at Awang airport before flying to Zamboanga City.
"The Nomad aircraft took off at around 9:05 a.m. Thursday in Davao City bound for Awang," Gagan said.
After a routine cooling off, the plane took off at around 11:35 a.m. for Zamboanga City, Gagan said.
Lieutenant Colonel Raymundo Ferrer, chief of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command, said Lacson and other PAF officials attended a meeting at the Eastmincom headquarters in Davao City on Wednesday.
He said the plane went into flames right after it crashed.
Fifteen minutes after take off, the plane crashed into a row of houses at the Urban Poor Village in Cotabato City and burst into flames, killing all those onboard the aircraft, one civilian and wounded two residents in the area, the official said.
In a television interview Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema reported that a civilian on the ground, identified as Inday Mondrano, was also killed in the crash. Another resident named Jela Gumiton was injured.
Wounded when the plane crashed were identified as Shiela Gomiton and a firefighter who tried to rescue the victim, reports said. Gomiton's two children, Jason and Jen-Jen, were unhurt.
Gomiton, reports said, was preparing for lunch when the incident happened.
Two more houses, one of them owned by Rogelio Daet, and a private vehicle were also hit when the aircraft landed at the residential area.
Footages at the crash site showed that the plane was a total wreck.
Major Randolph Cabangbang, Eastmincom spokesman, confirmed that all eight passengers perished in the crash.
An ongoing investigation into the crash, he said, is now being conducted.
"We still don't know what happened, but the plane is quite old," he said.
The Philippine Air Force is said to have one of the oldest fleet of aircraft in the world. On August 25, 2008, a C-130 plane lost communication shortly after take off from the Davao Airport. Debris believed to be parts of the aircraft, as well as body parts and personal effects were recovered in nearby barangays. All 11 people were onboard the plane when it went missing. Its wreckage was found in September 2008 in the Davao Gulf.