MALOLOS: Ten people died when a light aircraft crash-landed on a house as a family of five were having their lunch in Plaridel, Bulacan on Saturday.
Bulacan police provincial director Sr. Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr. said Capt. Ruel Meloria, his passengers Elisha Necesario, Ma. Vena Palunan, Romeo Huenda and Melvin Melgar perished, along with the occupants of the house—Luisa Santos, Rissa Santos, minors Jhon Jhon Santos de la Rosa, Trisha Santos de la Rosa and Timothy Santos de la Rosa.
A vendor at the crash site in Purok 3, Barangay Lumang Bayan, identified as Virginia Marquez, and her grandchild Santino Yuri were reported hurt.
The plane’s co-pilot, Efren Patulagan did not board the plane and was left at the Plaridel Airport.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft with registry number RP-C299 crashed at 11:21 in the morning after takeoff from Plaridel Airport.
The aircraft, operated by Lite Air Express, was supposed to go to Laoag Airport with five passengers on board.
Initial investigation showed that the house was burned while the aircraft was totally wrecked.
The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.
The CAAP said it immediately dispatched accident investigators and a team from its Flight Safety and Inspectorate Service to the crash site.
All aircraft operated by Lite Air Express were grounded pending the results of the investigation.
On Tuesday, a Cessna C152 series trainer aircraft also crash-landed after takeoff from Binalonan Airport’s runway 35 in Pangasinan.
The CAAP said its two passengers—a flight instructor and his student —suffered second-degree burns.
WITH ROY D.R. NARRA AND BENJIE L. VERGARA