Search widens after minister’s plane crashes
The Philippines has widened a search for the interior minister and two pilots a day since they went missing after a twin-engine light plane carrying them plunged into the sea off the central island of Masbate.
Five navy and coastguard ships, nine aircraft and eight teams of divers yesterday searched waters off Masbate for the wreckage of a six-seat Piper Aircraft Seneca plane carrying interior minister Jesse Robredo on Saturday.
Mr Robredo, 54, was aboard with his bodyguard and two pilots. Only the bodyguard is known to have survived. Fishermen found him floating about 300 metres from the shoreline.
A US military aircraft, equipped with infrared and Sonar, has also joined the search after one navy ship detected some metal on the seabed.
“The process is that if something is detected, it will have to be checked by divers,” vice admiral Alexander Pama, the navy chief, told reporters in Manila. “There is still no confirmation. We don’t want to call it search and recovery.”
President Benigno Aquino and his defence minister Voltaire Gazmin, flew to Masbate to monitor developments in the search and rescue.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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