Responders now ‘on the move’ to bring down ill-fated Cessna passengers from Mayon
MANILA, Philippines — The additional responders deployed by the local government of Albay on Wednesday reached the site where the remains of the passengers of the crashed Cessna plane were discovered and are now moving to bring them back from the slopes of Mayon Volcano.
In an update at 10:58 a.m., Camalig Mayor Caloy Baldo said the additional manpower are now working together with the initial responders to carry the remains of Pilot Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr., crew Joel Martin, and the plane’s Australian passengers, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan down from Mayon Volcano.
“Responders are now on the move, carrying the Cessna 340A crash victims down the slopes of Mayon,” said Baldo.
“Responders were advised to take turns to avoid exhaustion — 20 responders were assigned for each body as proposed by the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office,” he added.
It can be recalled that the bodies of the pilot and passengers were retrieved by responders on Saturday, Feb. 25, but efforts to bring them down from Mayon Volcano proved to be a challenge due to the terrain and the weather.
The local government of Albay on Tuesday then deployed additional responders to assist in retrieving the remains of the plane’s passengers.
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.
First of four remains successfully retrieved
In a press briefing at 6:43 p.m., Baldo said the responders had successfully retrieved one of the passengers’ remains, with the Camalig Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management expecting two more to arrive by Wednesday night.
“Siguro every two hours baka may dumating na, pero ‘yung isa baka bukas na dahil inabutan na ng dilim,” said Baldo.
(Maybe every two hours someone might come, but that one might be tomorrow because the darkness has overtaken.)
He added that if the weather permits, a chopper may be deployed to retrieve the last of the remains.
“Pero kung hindi na, i-by foot pa natin ulit ito (But if not, we will do it by foot again),” he added.
Once retrieved, the bodies will be turned over to the scene of the crime police operatives before sending them to their respective families.