DOH lauds heroism of pilots, crew members of ill-fated medical flight

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2020 07:47 PM

Debris of the Lionair medical evacuation plane that exploded during takeoff is seen on the runway of the Manila International Airport in Pasay City, Sunday. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA — The Department of Health thanked the pilots and crew members of the ambulance aircraft that caught fire at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday.

All 8 crew members and passengers died.

“Hindi matatawaran ang kabayanihan na ipinakita ng ating mga piloto, ating mga crew members at ating mga health workers at kanilang mga pasahero,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing on Monday.

Vergeire said Lionair has been helping the DOH deliver medical supplies for hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao.

“Bago mangyari ang insidenteng ito, ang piloto at crew ng eroplano ay katatapos lang maghatid ng medical supplies natin sa Zamboanga, Mactan Iloilo at Butuan,” she said, adding that the plane no longer had medical supplies onboard when it caught fire.

Vergeire said the plane served as an air ambulance for a medical evacuation mission when the tragedy happened.

“Nais po naming ipaabot ang taos pusong pakikiramay sa pamilya at mga naulila dulot ng pagkasung ng eroplano,” the Health official said.