A Philippine mayor says a search team has reached the crash site on a restive volcano of a plane carrying two Filipinos and two Australians and found all aboard were killed
MANILA, Philippines — Searchers who hiked the slopes of a restive Philippine volcano to find the wreckage of a plane that crashed over the weekend confirmed the two Australian energy consultants and two Filipino crew members on board didn’t survive, the local mayor said.
More than a dozen army troops and firefighters were dropped off from an air force helicopter Wednesday morning, then they hiked to the crash site on a gully on Mayon volcano’s slope, civil aviation officials said. The Cessna 340 went missing after taking off Saturday.
“There were no survivors,” Mayor Carlos Baldo of Albay province’s Camalig town told The Associated Press in a cellphone message when asked about the fate of the four people onboard the plane. The remains of the crash victims would be brought down the volcano on Thursday, he said.
The two Australians were working as consultants for Energy Development Corp., a large geothermal power company, which owned the plane that was flown by a Filipino pilot with a crew member. The company deployed teams backed by helicopters and drones to help in the search, which was hampered by heavy rains, gusty wind and thick clouds.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, who was in Manila on Wednesday for talks with Philippine officials, expressed his condolences to the families of the crash victims before the deaths were confirmed by Baldo later in the day. The mayor oversaw the search for the Cessna aircraft by nearly 200 army troops, firefighters and volunteers, including veteran mountaineers.