Lacierda: 15 passengers of private plane in Tacloban mishap unhurt
MANILA, Philippines–Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Saturday assured that all 15 passengers and crew members of the Global Express private plane that skidded off the Tacloban Airport runway were unharmed.
One of the plane’s tires reportedly exploded before taking off for Manila Saturday afternoon not long after the papal plane took off.
Initially, Lacierda said that “strong winds” brought about by Tropical Storm “Amang” “forced” the plane carrying Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Secretary Sonny Coloma, Undersecretary Manny Baustista and Undersecretary Felizardo Serapio Jr. along with seven other staff members and four flight crew “to overshoot” the runway.
But in a later statement, Lacierda clarified that the plane “went off” the runway “but did not overshoot.”
Also, it remained unclear if strong winds caused the plane to skid off the runway as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines was still in the process of conducting an investigation, Lacierda added.
“The aforementioned officials were on hand in Tacloban to ensure that the activities of Pope Francis in Tacloban and Palo would go as planned. All 15 passengers and crew members are all safe and suffered no injuries. The families of those on board have also been assured that their loved ones are safe,” the statement read.
Lacierda also said that President Aquino had been informed by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas about the incident.
“The President was happy to hear that all on board were safe and directed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to investigate whether the proximate cause of the incident was weather-related or otherwise.”
Original posted: 2:51 PM | Saturday, January 17th, 2015
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