In a press conference, Caap Spokesperson Eric Apolonio said the bodies of the victims — two Filipinos and two Australian nationals — are already at the town proper of Camalig, Albay and are already being processed for turn over to their respective families.
The bodies of Captain James Crisostomo, the pilot and an employee of the Energy Development Corporation; Joel Martin, also an employee of the company; Simon Chipperfield, advisor; and Karthi Santhanam, a consultant were recovered within the permanent danger zone of the active volcano on February 25, a week since the plane went missing while on its way to Manila.
Due to thick clouds and difficult terrain, bringing the remains down from the Mayon Volcano took rescuers five days.
Meanwhile, Apolonio tagged as “accidents” the series of aircraft crashes in the country in the past few weeks.
“We have to consider this an accident o insidenteng nangyari na hindi natin maiwasan dahil fully compliant naman iyong tatlong nawawalang involved na aircraft for the last two months,” he said.
(We have to consider this an accident or incident that happened which we could not avoid because the three missing aircraft were fully compliant for the last two months.)
Before the plane crash in Albay, a Cessna plane bound for Maconacon, Isabela with six passengers went missing on January 24. It has yet to be found.
On Wednesday morning, March 1, an air ambulance bound for Palawan with five passengers aboard also went missing.
The Philippine Coast Guard is currently undergoing verification if the debris found floating off Lumbucan Island are that of the missing medical evacuation helicopter operated by the Adventist Medical Aviation Services. (SunStar Philippines)