Rains, winds battered Basilan during military chopper crash: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2020 08:32 AM

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Rains and winds lashed Basilan province before a military chopper crashed there, killing 4 people, a local official who witnessed the incident said Thursday.

The Sikorsky helicopter appeared to be looking for a site for emergency landing before it crashed onto rubber trees in a hilly area of Lantawan town, said municipal administrator Tahira Ismael.

“Noong nakita namin, biglang dumilim, umihip ang hangin, nabagsak iyong second round ng malakas na ulan. Nag-try siyang itaas iyon [helicopter] mula sa ulap, pero hindi niya nakayanan,” she told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

(When we saw it, the sky suddenly darkened, the wind blew, and the second round of strong rains fell. The helicopter seemed to try flying above a cloud, but it failed to do so.)

The incident killed 2 pilots and 2 crew members of the Philippine Air Force, its spokesperson Lt. Col. Aristides Galang Jr. earlier said.

The aircraft was supposed to transport to Zamboanga City some personnel who were wounded during the Aug. 24 suicide bombings in Jolo.

The crash occurred while tropical storm Leon enhanced the southwest monsoon and drenched vast swaths of the country.

TeleRadyo, Sept. 17, 2020