Search and rescue teams today continue their operations to determine the fate of the four passengers on board a Cessna 340 that crashed near the Mayon crater in Camalig, Albay Saturday, February 18.
The small plane went missing shortly after departing for Manila from Bicol International Airport in Albay province, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said in a statement.
CAAP confirmed that the plane was carrying Australian passengers who are believed to be technical consultants of Energy Development Corporation along with a pilot and another crew member.
Camagil Mayor Carlos Irwin G. Baldo Jr identified the passengers as Pilot Capt. Rufino James T. Crisostomo Jr., crew Joel G. Martin, and the two Australian passengers as Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan.
The inclement weather has been hampering rescue efforts according to CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio.
“The problem is the weather is bad and it hampers the visibility of the ground search,” Apolonio said.
Meanwhile, Albay Disaster Officer Cedric Daep expressed hope saying that they are not discarding the possibility that the passengers might still be alive.
“We are not discounting the possibility that they could still be alive,” Daep said.
It can be recalled that another Cessna plane, which was carrying six passengers bound for Maconacon, Isabela went missing after the control center lost contact with it minutes after taking off on Tuesday, January 24. The remains of the plane and its passengers are yet to be found.