TEN people were killed while two others suffered serious injuries when a six-seater private plane crashed into a house in Purok Tres, Barangay Lumang Bayan, Plaridel in Bulacan at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, police and aviation officials said.
The twin-engine aircraft crashed shortly after taking off, killing all five aboard as well as three children, a mother and a grandmother from the family in the house, said Supt. Julio Lizardo.
“We had to dig through the rubble to find the bodies,” he said, explaining why the toll rose from an initial figure of seven dead.
Officials declined to say what may have caused the crash of the Piper PA-23 Apache, operated by a local charter company.
The fatalities were identified as: Rissa Santos-Dela Rosa, the mother, and her children John Noel Dela Rosa, 17, Timothy Noel, 10, and Krissa, 7. The grandmother was Luisa Santos, 75. All died and their charred remains have been retrieved as of 5 p.m. Saturday.
The pilot-instructor and student co-pilot of the ill-fated plane, including its three passengers believed to be aviation mechanic students, all died upon impact.
The five other fatalities in the accident were members of a family.
Noel dela Rosa. who was not at their house at the time of the crash, identified his dead wife as Risa Santos; and mother in-law Luisa Santos; and their young children, namely: John Noel, Timothy and Trish.
The family was eating lunch when the plane smashed at their house roof and caused fire upon impact. Luckily, two other children of Dela Rosa were out of the house at the time.
Lizardo identified the other fatalities: as Capt. Ruel Meloria and co-pilot Efren Patugalan of Lite Air Express.
The three other passengers who perished remain unidentified.
The twin-engine trainer plane took of at exactly 11:21`a.m. at the Plaridal airstrip and was bound for Laoag, Ilocos Norte where it was scheduled to refuel and then onward to Batanes, its destination, according to police sources.
An elderly woman named Virginia Marquez and her grandson, where the Dela Rosa household bought their viand for lunch, were also hurt in the incident.
They were rushed to the La Consolacion Hospital for treatment.
An eyewitness told Manila Standard that the plane hit a 40-foot electric post before it crash-landed and exploded at the Dela Rosa’s house.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio said the Apache aircraft, with registry number RP-C299 operated by Lite Express, stalled after takeoff.
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