Laguna plane crash probe may take time: CAAP

MANILA The investigation as to why a medical evacuation (medevac) plane crashed in Laguna over the weekend would take time, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio said Thursday.

"The incident has to go a thorough investigation. We could not just assume," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He noted that there are several steps that investigators have to go through to determine the reason of the crash.

"They would gather all the parts of the aircraft, if possible, and reassemble these. If they could not gather all, whatever (debris) they find would be their basis. They would also need to talk to witnesses, and listen to the communication that transpired between the aircraft and the (control) tower," he explained.

Thus, the official added he could not give a timeline as to when the investigation would last.

He, meanwhile, clarified that some reports saying the plane exploded or broke up while in mid-air did not come from CAAP.

"Such detail did not come from us. Investigation is still ongoing, so we don't know yet what exactly happened to the plane.

Apolonio also clarified that there was no violation with regard to the apparent unlisted passenger, Erma Carr.

"She was listed (in the manifesto) at the last minute," Apolonio said.

The plane's operator, Lion Air, is the one responsible for the incident, unless they could prove they should not be held liable, according to Apolonio.

"They must prove they are not liable for the incident," he said, adding that for instance, the accident was due to technical issues.

The Beechcraft King Air type medivac plane with registry number RP-C2296 crashed in Pansol, Laguna on September 1.

All nine onboard were killed Jesus Fernandez (pilot), Lino Cruz, Jr. (co-pilot), Garret Garcia, Kirk Eion Badilla, Yamato Togawa, Ryx Gil Laput, Raymund Bulacja, Tom Carr, and Erma Carr.

CAAP said the plane came from Dipolog Airport and was supposedly bound for Manila to bring a patient.

It lost radar contact past 3 p.m. while flying 25 nautical miles from Manila, CAAP added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency