MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — A policeman died while two others were injured after the chopper they were riding crashed Monday morning in Real, Quezon, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
In a statement, the PNP said the H125 Airbus helicopter lost contact hours after taking off at 6:17 a.m. at the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City.
The chopper, carrying the three police crew, was on an administrative mission, bound for northern Quezon province, the statement said.
Rescue teams from the police, local government, and Bureau of Fire Protection reached the crash site in Barangay (Village) Pandan in Real at 8:05 a.m. and evacuated the crew.
The PNP said it received reports that indicate that the area in Real was experiencing rainy weather at the time of the crash.
PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo confirmed an earlier report that the chopper was on the way to fetch PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos from Balesin Island, Polillo town and take him to the national police's headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The police have grounded their entire fleet of H125 Airbus Police helicopters as authorities continue to investigate the crash. According to Fajardo, there are seven affected choppers.
The two survivors from the crash were airlifted to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. They suffered "contusions, lacerations and fractures", Fajardo said.
She said she has yet to confirm if there was a black box, or an electronic recording device placed in the aircraft to help with the probe on the incident.
This is the second time in two years that the PNP has been involved in a chopper crash.
In 2020, a Bell 429 chopper carrying then PNP Chief Archie Gamboa crashed in Laguna, injuring six people onboard and killing one cop.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
— Report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News