MANILA - One of four wounded soldiers en route to hospital aboard a helicopter died Thursday after the aircraft had to go on emergency landing in Madalum, Lanao del Sur because of bad weather, the military said Friday.
The soldiers, all from the 55th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, had been wounded in an explosion during combat operations against members of the terror-linked Daulah Islamiyah in Barangay Lilitun around 9 a.m. Thursday.
They were air evacuated for treatment when the chopper pilot decided to emergency land due to bad weather. An Air Force crew member was also injured in the mishap.
Capt. Clint Antipala, spokesman of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said a critically wounded soldier died in the process. Antipala said the death could be due to the severity of the injury the soldier sustained in the blast.
“Most parts of his body was hit by shrapnel," Antipala said.
Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander of the 1st Infantry Division, expressed his condolences to the soldier’s family and friends.
"We have done everything just to save our wounded soldier the fastest way we can thru our air assets, unfortunately the incident happened," said Ponio.
"Rest assured that the benefits of the fallen trooper will be taken cared [of] and the financial or other assistance will be given to his immediate family,” said Ponio.