Friday, April 3, 2009

Northern Philippines - Missing plane spotted in Isabela – police

MANILA, Philippines--(UPDATE) Police and local government officials spotted in the northern province of Isabela Friday morning the private plane that went missing with seven people on board, a police official said.

The Chemtrad light plane with tail number 764 that suddenly went missing in the province of Isabela Thursday morning was spotted by police rescue teams from Maconacon town between the villages of Flores and Riena Mercedez, said Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian, police regional office 2, director.

Damian said they have no information yet if the seven passengers, including a policeman, are alive, adding low visibility prevented a police team from pursuing the rescue operation.

However, rescue teams from nearby Divilacan and Maconacon towns have now been dispatched to the area to verify the report, he said.

Earlier, Damian said they have received reports that the light plane made an emergency landing in an air strip owned by American missionaries in Valley Cove in Baggao town.

The private plane piloted by Captain Tomas Yañez went missing after it took off from the Tuguegarao Airport at 8 a.m. Thursday. The plane was bound for Maconacon town in Isabela but it did not reach its destination.

The plane had seven passengers: Captains Yañez and Ruiz (pilot and co-pilot), Senior Police Officer 2 Rolly Castaños, Celestino Salacup, Abelardo Baggay, Joel Basilio and James Bakilan.

Damian earlier said that the weather condition in the provinces was rainy.

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