More responders help retrieve remains of Cessna pilot, passengers in Albay
MANILA, Philippines — More rescuers were sent to Albay on Tuesday to help pull down the bodies of the Cessna pilot and passengers located near Mayon Volcano.
To recall, the bodies of the pilot and passengers were retrieved by responders on Saturday, Feb. 25, but efforts to bring them down from Mayon Volcano remain a challenge due to the terrain.
In a statement by Camalig Mayor Caloy Baldo, four additional batches of responders have been deployed as of 5 a.m. to help retrieve the remains of Pilot Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr., crew Joel G. Martin, and the plane’s Australian passengers Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan.
“Four fresh batches of responders started their trek through Mayon to aid in… carrying down of the four bodies as operation for Cessna 340A entered its 11th day,” Baldo said.
According to Baldo, the Incident Management Team (IMT) in charge of retrieving the remains directed the deployment of additional manpower after exhaustion eventually caught up with the initial team atop the slopes of Mt. Mayon.
The IMT also sought the support of air assets, however, helicopters are still not advised to fly above the mountainous area due to zero visibility caused by unfavorable weather conditions.
Meanwhile, the IMT also advised responders to tone down their movement due to the weather, as well as the risks posed by the volcano’s terrain.
It was on February 18, when the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines reported that the Bicol International Airport lost contact with the Cessna 340 plane after it departed at around 6:43 a.m.
This is the second Cessna plane to go missing this year, with the first disappearing in Isabela in January.