Captain's body lifted from plane wreckage

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Aug 22 2012 06:06 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2012 04:10 PM

Back to zero in search for body of Nepalese

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - The body of Captain Jessup Bahinting has been retrieved from the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane that crashed in waters off Masbate last Saturday.

Orson Bahinting told TV Patrol he recognized his brother through the watch and shirt he was wearing.

In his Twitter account, Transport Secretary Mar Roxas said another body was retrieved after the plane's fuselage was lifted from the seabed Wednesday afternoon. He said the body was first “unrecognizable, though with a ring.”

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin noted the body was wearing a Fossil watch and a blue shirt with stripes. The body was still strapped with a seatbelt at the right side of the plane.

Gazmin, meanwhile, said it’s “back to zero” in the search for the last body, that of Nepalese pilot Kshitiz Chand.

The Piper Seneca plane was carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, his aide Jun Paolo Abrazado, and the two pilots when it crashed into the waters of Masbate last Saturday. Abrazado was rescued immediately after the crash.

Yesterday, divers retrieved Robredo's body from the downed plane. They said he was the one easier to retrieve since he was near the door of the wrecked plane.

Gazmin said divers will again comb the area where the plane was found tomorrow. 

Dive leaders called off the operations until this afternoon because of the strong currents that may prove dangerous to the operations.– with a report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News