Wreckage of missing plane confirmed on Philippine volcano

manila philippines –

The wreckage of a small plane carrying two Filipino pilots and two Australian passengers was spotted Tuesday at one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes, officials said.

An air search found no trace of the occupants of the Cessna 340 that crashed into a canyon on the slopes of the Mayon volcano in Albay province.

“The condition of the crew and passengers is not yet known as the search and rescue team has not yet reached the exact location due to bad weather,” the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said. Investigators discovered the wreckage after three failed aerial searches Tuesday morning due to thick clouds.

Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Eric Apolonio said only the tail section of the fuselage remained intact.

The Australian worked as a consultant for Energy Development Corp., a large geothermal power company. The company said it has deployed teams supported by helicopters and drones to assist with the search.

Camarig town mayor Carlos Bardo said four teams of government employees and volunteers, including climbers with satellite phones, began the ascent of the 8,077-foot (2,462-meter) volcano on Tuesday morning after the weather cleared. said. They should be able to reach the crash site on Wednesday, he said.

“It’s a difficult task,” said Bardo, who oversees search and rescue, citing the Mayon’s restlessness, steep slopes and unpredictable weather.

Villagers are usually barred from entering the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) permanent danger zone around Mayon, which last erupted in 2018 and displaced tens of thousands of residents. However, the government’s volcano watchdog authorized a search for the plane.

Security concerns were also raised after two soldiers helping with the search were shot dead by five suspected communist New People’s Army guerrillas at a market where they were buying supplies on Monday, according to military sources.

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