Chopper carrying Yolanda relief supplies crashes into Manila Bay | Inquirer News
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Chopper carrying Yolanda relief supplies crashes into Manila Bay

/ 08:10 PM November 24, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine helicopter on a humanitarian mission crashed into the Manila Bay several kilometers off Bulacan Sunday afternoon.

The pilot and a passenger of the aircraft were rescued by US Marines.

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“We were on our way to Manila from Tacloban when the chopper had a mayday call. So we informed Villamor that we will delay our landing to rescue those inside the chopper,” Major Jason Kaufmann of the US Marine Corps, a pilot of the US C-130, told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.

The chopper crashed four miles from the Hagonoy (not Obando as earlier reported) shoreline and the two occupants from the aircraft swam for help.

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“They still had their radios and we were able to maintain contact with them. We flew our C-130 very low, at 200 feet above the waters and we deployed our rafts,” Kaufmann said.

He added that they informed Villamor Air Base of the location of the chopper crash and the survivors so they could be rescued, adding that they had no flotation gears.

Local fishermen on a fishing boat, meanwhile, were able to rescue the survivors about 30 minutes after the rafts were deployed.

Kaufmann said the two occupants of the chopper were uninjured.

Thousands of US soldiers have been deployed to the Philippines to help in disaster operations for typhoon-battered areas struck by a powerful storm early this month.

The US Marines have been here for two weeks while Kaufmann is on his third day here.

Philippine Air Force spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol clarified that the chopper that crashed was a private one and not from the military.

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The chopper reportedly carried relief supplies for typhoon victims.

Originally posted at 06:49 pm |Sunday, November 24, 2013

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