Aviation regulator verifying weather during Laguna air-ambulance crash

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2019 09:43 AM

MANILA — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Tuesday it was verifying the weather condition when an air-ambulance plane crashed at a resort area in Laguna province over the weekend, sparking a fierce blaze and leaving 9 people dead. 

"Intense" rains were lashing Calamba town on Sunday when the King Air 350 light aircraft crashed while on its way to Manila from Dipolog City, carrying a medical team, an ill New Zealander and his wife, police said. 

"Kukuhanin natin iyan sa PAGASA, iyung data nila para ma-determine kasi iyung sinasabi ng nasa baba, nasa ground, based doon sa nakita nila. Dapat makakuha talaga tayo ng impormasyon galing sa authority," said CAAP Spokesperson ric Apolinario. 

(We will get that from PAGASA, their data to determine because the information from the ground is based on what they saw. We must get information from an authority.) 

A low pressure area east of Mindanao intensified into tropical depression Liwayway on Sunday, the same day that tropical depression Kabayan, spotted west of Luzon, left the Philippine area of responsibility, PAGASA earlier said. 

Authorities retrieved Monday the flight data recorder from the small plane. 

CAAP will release partial investigation results "within a few days", while final results "will take months" because authorities still need to reconstruct the airplane, said Apolinario. 

Police earlier said a mother and her son, who are caretakers of a resort, were injured in the crash and rushed to hospital. Authorities have not reported any fatalities from those who were in the resort area when the plane went down. 

The area where the plane crashed is home to numerous resorts that are packed with visitors during the hottest months.

Deadly light aircraft crashes are not unusual in the Philippines, where small planes are used to hop between the archipelago's numerous islands. 

Ten people were killed in March 2018 when a plane went down after take off in Plaridel, Bulacan, which is near Manila. With a report from Agence France-Presse