10 dead in Bulacan plane crash

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2018 02:43 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2018 01:00 PM

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - Ten people died following a plane crash in a residential area in Plaridel, Bulacan on Saturday.

Five of the fatalities were from the aircraft while 5 others were inside the house the plane crashed into according to the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office 

The 5 victims from the house were identified as John Noel Dela Rosa, 17; Timothy Noel Dela Rosa, 10; Krissa Dela Rosa, 7; Rissa Dela Rosa; and Luisa Santos, 75.

Noel Dela Rosa lamented the death of his family, saying he found out about the incident on social media and via a phone call.

"Sa social media lang at tawag [ko nalaman] . . . Basta maayos lang ang pamilya ko at tulong pinansyal na kaunti," he said.

Meanwhile, victims from the aircraft have yet to be identified. Police said they will notify their families as soon as possible.

As of this writing, authorities wrapped up retrieval operations and are searching next for the plane's blackbox. This contains the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, information that is vital in the air-crash investigation. 

The plane, a Piper PA-23 Apache operated by Lite Air Express, crashed into a house in Barangay Lumang Bayan after it took off from Plaridel airport at 11:21 a.m.

After takeoff, the plane reportedly hit a tree and then an electric post before crashing, said Supt. Julio Lizardo, Plaridel police chief.

Speaking to DZMM earlier, Chief Insp. Agustin Joseph said the Dela Rosa family was having lunch when the plane crashed into their house. 

Two other bystanders, an elderly woman named Virginia Marquez and her grandson, were also hurt in the incident. 

They reported hearing a loud bang from behind them as the plane hit a tree and a post before crashing into the house. 

They were brought to the La Consolacion Hospital in Plaridel after suffering minor burns.

Marquez said the family bought food from them prior to the crash.

Nikko Analupa, an airline intern who was not on the fatal flight, said the plane was supposed to refuel in Laoag City before heading to Batanes.

He said that as far as he knew, the plane was in good condition and was piloted by a professional who was assisted by a student pilot. Other passengers were mechanics.

Power, meanwhile, has yet to be restored in the area due to the incident.

-- with a report from Ron Lopez, ABS-CBN News