10 dead as plane slams into house
PLARIDEL, Bulacan — Members of the Dela Rosa family were having a quiet lunch shortly before noon on Saturday when death came crashing from the sky in Barangay Lumang Bayan here.
A six-seater Piper, carrying five people, apparently snagged a power line near the Dela Rosa home hurling the plane onto the house and killing five members of the family.
Killed inside the house were Crizzia, 7, her brothers Timothy, 10, and John Noel, 17, their mother, Rizza, 46, and their grandmother, Luisa Santos, 75.
The head of the family, Noel dela Rosa, and another son, Leo, were not in the house at the time.
John Noel, a 12th grader at the Dampol First National High School, was supposed to graduate this month. Rizza was preparing to go to work at 1 p.m. before the tragedy happened.
Killed inside the plane were its pilot, Capt. Ruel Meloria, and his passengers Alicia Necesario, Romeo Hueda, Maria Vera Pagaduan and Nelson Melgar.
An 8-year-old boy and a fish vendor, Zenaida Santiago, 62, were hurt by flames outside the house, according to Liz Mungcal, head of the Bulacan provincial disaster office.
The plane took off from the Plaridel airport around 11:30 a.m., but witnesses said they saw the plane snag an electric line as it climbed, forcing it back down toward the residential area.
Virginia Marquez, Dela Rosa’s neighbor, said she saw sparks from the electric post near the victims’ house before the plane crashed.
“We heard a loud noise then we were surprised by the explosion and fire. We were scared the fire would spread to the other houses,” she said.
The flight manifest revealed the plane was bound for Laoag City and was supposed to have a copilot, Efren Patugalan, but airport officials said he did not board the plane, said Supt. Julio Lizardo, Plaridel police chief.
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