Camalig, Albay – Sixteen elite mountaineers are tapped to join the rescue operations for the four passengers on board a Cessna plane that crashed near the crater of Mayon Volcano on Saturday.
The sixteen veteran mountaineers will attempt to ascend Mt. Mayon to locate the missing passengers as an aerial inspection found the remains of the Cessna aircraft some 350 meters from the volcano’s crater on Sunday afternoon, a day after it went missing a few minutes after taking off from Bicol International Airport (BIA).
Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr., the incident commander, said that they tapped the mountaineers, and other experts to climb and reach the crash site, but they still needed extensive planning.
George Cordovilla, 51, a.k.a “The Tiger of Mayon,” team leader of the composite team from the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Inc. (MFPI), told reporters on Monday that his team is very much prepared for the mission.
“Hinihintay lang namin ‘yung go-signal para akyatin namin ang Mayon,” he said.
Cordovilla’s record showed that he has climbed the volcano’s crater more than 300 times, giving the authorities confidence in inviting them for the rescue mission.
As of Monday afternoon, around 25 volunteer mountain climbers are already on stand by status, waiting for the green light from the authorities.