ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A top military official said Tuesday that a rescue helicopter of the Philippine Navy crashed near the Little Sta. Cruz Island, south of this city.

Lieutenant General Benjamin Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, said the rescue helicopter crashed at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday while it was participating in small-boat maneuver training.

He said five people -- two pilots and three crew -- were aboard the helicopter when it fell into the water near the Little Sta. Island.

The two pilots are still missing as of this posting Tuesday. (Bong Garcia)