Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bad weather hampers Chemtrad rescuers

Bad weather continues to hamper rescuers from retrieving the bodies of the seven passengers from the ill-fated Chemtrad private plane, a police official said on Friday.

Retrieval teams on board helicopters encountered bad weather at around 3 p.m., prompting them to turn back, said Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian, Cagayan Valley regional director.

Three helicopters, one with lift and hoist capabilities, were unable to drop equipment and food supplies to the retrievers as strong winds and low clouds prevented the choppers from making a steady hover over the bivouac area of the retrievers, Damian said.

The 54 rescuers from the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army, and local government officials are now in the area.

The Chemtrad light plane (tail no. 764) was found on a heavily-forested slope in Sitio (sub-village) Bayang, Barangay (village) San Miguel in Baggao town after it went missing last April 2.

Onboard were Captains Tomas Yañez and Reiner Ruiz, the pilot and co-pilot, Senior Police Officer 2 Rolly Castaños, Celestino Salacup, Abelardo Baggay, Joel Basilio and James Bakilan.

The plane and its crew were bound for Maconacon town in Isabela province.

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