Small plane crashes off Zamboanga City coast

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 11:36 AM | Updated as of Jul 07 2020 03:52 PM

The small chartered plane is submerged in water where it crashed after its pilots encountered engine failure shortly after takeoff at the Zamboanga City Airport. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ituralde 

ZAMBOANGA CITY (UPDATE) – A small chartered plane made a crash landing in waters off the village of Sinunuc on Tuesday morning after encountering engine failure, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has confirmed.

The two pilots and two passengers are safe.

CAAP Area Manager Antonio Alfonso said the plane, which was bound for Dumaguete City, lost contact shortly after takeoff from the Zamboanga Airport. 

"Nag-take off dito sa airport 9:38 a.m. ... tapos nag-lost contact,” said Alfonso.

The ill-fated plane's pilots and passengers were in Zamboanga to deliver a Cessna plane to an aviation school in the city.

The plane encountered a left engine failure, forcing the pilots to make a crash landing into the sea.

Alfonso said the pilots did not panic and were able to avoid a densely populated residential area.

Tricycle driver Mufri Yusup, who witnessed the incident, said they thought the plane was just making a landing. They immediately assisted the plane's crew upon its crash, he added.

“Akala namin bababa lang sila. And then, bigla na lang nag-crash. And then, nag-separate ang wings. Ang ginawa namin ng kasama ko, tumalon na lang kami bigla," he said.

(We thought it was descending to land. But the plane suddenly crashed. And then, its wings separated. My companions and I immediately took action.)

--With reports from Leizle Lacastesantos, ABS-CBN News