Remains of 4 passengers of ill-fated Cessna plane found near Mayon crater
LEGAZPI CITY — Albay disaster officials confirmed Wednesday night (Feb. 22) that the four people onboard the Cessna plane which crashed near Mayon Volcano were already dead.
In a private message, Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr., incident commander, said the bodies were found by the search and rescue teams deployed to make the challenging climb to the crash site located 350 meters below the summit crater. He did not give other information.
Baldo said the bodies would be retrieved from the area on Thursday morning (Feb. 23).
“Hindi na po search and rescue, retrieval na po ang operation ngayon kasi napuntahan na po kahapon na yung mga sakay ng eroplano wala na pong buhay. Nandun yung apat na pasahero natin,” Baldo also said over Teleradyo.
(It’s no longer a search and rescue operation because we are retrieving the dead passengers we found yesterday. Our four passengers are there.)
The Cessna RPC340 went missing on Saturday morning with the pilot, Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr.; his mechanic, Joel Martin; and their two Australian passengers, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam.
The debris of the Cessna RPC340 was located some 350 meters (1,148 feet) from the volcano’s summit crater on Sunday afternoon.
The team, composed of local mountaineers, government rescuers and other guides started to climb on Tuesday (Feb. 21) to reach the crash site, about 6,000 feet from the base of the volcano.