8 killed in NAIA plane crash
Fatalities include 6 medical evacuation crew bound for Japan—MIAA
But according to a copy of the airplane’s general declaration obtained by Manila Standard from an assistant of Senator Manny Pacquiao, the passengers were identified as John Richard Hurst, aged 63, of Canada; and Marilyn Vergara De Jesus, 58, of the USA. The pilots were identified as Capt. Ren Edward Nevado Ungson, Capt. Melvin Bruel De Castro, and Capt. Mario Rosello Medina Jr. The others were Dr. Cenover Nicandro Bautista II and nurses Conrado Tomeldan Jr. and Edmark Saes. Eric Apolonio, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman, said the declaration was “not official.” While the accident was unfortunate, Monreal said they could ground the whole Lion Air fleet in the country while investigations continued on the crash. He confirmed the foreign nationals killed were Canadian and American.
Last year, another Lion Air plane on a medical evacuation mission also caught fire and crashed in Calamba City in Laguna, killing all nine persons on board. An incoming Korean Airlines flight that was to use runway 624 last night was diverted to Clark International Airport, Monreal said. Only seven flights were scheduled to land and take off at NAIA on Sunday owing to the country’s coronavirus lockdown, he added. According to MIAA during the presscon, the flight tower at NAIA was alarmed the airplane could not take off despite being light enough to clear the length of the runway. The plane had just come from Iloilo to deliver medical supplies, it added. The CAAP clarified that RP-C5880 was airworthy and that all its pilots’ licenses were current. “The flight, which was on a medEvac mission to Haneda, Japan, was carrying two (2) passengers and six (6) crew members. Immediately after the incident, the MIAA Fire and Rescue team were dispatched to the site to douse the flames with chemical foam. Unfortunately, no passenger survived the accident,” MIAA added in a statement.
“Our fire and medic teams were already dispatched to NAIA Terminal 2 to respond to the plane crash incident involving Lion Air Flight RPC 5880. Eight passengers consisting of a flight medic, nurse, doctor, three flight crew, one patient and a companion were on board,” said Senator Richard Gordon on his Twitter account. “The plane caught fire and exploded as it was taking off the NAIA runway 24,” he added. Apolonio said the Agusta WW24 aircraft bound for Japan encountered a technical problem while rolling for takeoff. He said the Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center (PARCC) is gathering additional information about the accident. Apolonio said Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) chief investigator Rainier Baculinao has been dispatched to help determine the cause of the accident. Killed in the Laguna incident last year were plane pilot Capt. Jesus Fernandez and co-pilot First Officer Lino A. Cruz, Jr.; Dr. Garret Garcia; Kirk Eion Badilla and Yamato Togawa, both registered nurses; Tom Carr, a patient from New Zealand, and his wife Emma; flight mechanic Raymund Bulacja, and one Ryx Gil Laput. CAAP officials said only eight of the nine passengers were listed in the flight manifesto of the 11-seater Beechcraft King Air type (BE350).