Sunday, 29 April 2007

Helicopter crashed down in LapuLapu City(Phils)

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Helicopter kills 9


ABOUT two hours into a training flight yesterday, an eight-seater Huey (UH1H)helicopter gunship of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was on its way back to its Mactan base when it crashed on two tricycles, killing nine people.

Four others were seriously injured, after the helicopter hit a high-tension wire and plowed into Humay-Humay Road, Sitio Goso, Barangay Gun-ob in Lapu-Lapu City about 5:40 p.m. yesterday.The driver and six passengers of a red tricycle and the co-pilot and mechanic from the PAF's 2nd Tactical Operations Wing (TOW) died.

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Of seven persons in the tricycle, five were female, one of whom was reportedly pregnant, and one was a teenager whose body was cut in two.Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was campaigning for reelection in the area with another senatorial candidate Zosimo Paredes, said their vehicle passed by the crash site 30 seconds before the chopper went down.

"It was very fast, very quick," Lacson told reporters.

TOW Chief Mario Lacson said the chopper was on a training flight at the South Road Properties and was heading back to the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base when the accident happened.Allen Tapusok, supervisor of the Air Transportation Office (ATO) Tower
Control Center, said the Huey helicopter took off at 3:48 p.m. and was reported to have crashed in Gun-ob about two hours later.

All the fatalities were brought to the Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel in
Mandaue City.

As of press time, only seven were identified: 1st Lt. Jesus Imbat and Staff Sgt. Michael Gabino, the co-pilot and mechanic of the helicopter; and civilians Rey Ledesma, Odelon Acampado, Laura Jumao-as, Rey Ledesma, Ma.Nenita Dungon and Genevieve Garcia.Gabino was declared dead on arrival at the Mactan Doctors'Hospital,
while Imbat died at Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City.

Ledesma, Acampado, Jumao-as, Garcia and the two unidentified civilians died on the spot.Capt. Allan Villagarcia, the pilot, and Master Sgt. Johnny delos Reyes, the
gunner, suffered serious injuries.Lito Casin, owner of a billiard hall and an eatery that sits only 10 meters from the crash site, said he saw the helicopter going down but its propeller was not moving.

Seconds later, the helicopter hit the concrete electric post and power
supply was cut off.Casin said the impact hurled the helicopter onto the road, where it hit two tricycles.With its tail on the high-tension wire, the helicopter rolled on the red tricycle, squashing it.The driver and lone passenger of the yellow tricycle were injured and were taken to the Mactan Doctors' Hospital for treatment. Their names were not available because hospital security guards refused entry to the
premises.

Jun Kinaadman, who works with Casin, said that had the helicopter not hit the electric post, it could have crashed into the houses in the thickly populated area.

Kinaadman said that after snagged the high-tension wire, the propeller knocked the small resthouse of the Hermie Ymbong Compound. A portion of the rotor tail hit the guardhouse while the sodium lamp of the post was thrown several meters away.After the helicopter landed on top of the tricycle, Kinaadman said he tried to rescue the pregnant woman but she was already dead.He turned to the man, who turned out to have been decapitated. The teenage girl was cut in two."Dead on the spot tanang pasahero sa red tricycle. Walay mabuhi sa sitwasyon nga ang gitas-an sa tricycle taga-tuhod na lang. (All the passengers of the red tricycle were dead on the spot. Nobody could have survived. Crushed, the tricycle was only knee-high)," Kinaadman said.

The chopper's high-octane gas started to flow to the road, prompting some residents to cover it with soil.

PO3 Jonathan Espinosa, who was on board Police Mobile 09 traveling on Humay-Humay road at that time, said he saw the helicopter drop,spinning,until it hit the electric post.The Rolling Hills crew took all the seven dead tricycle passengers,
while the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation rushed the injured victims to the
hospitals.Lt. Col. Ernesto Milo, also of the 2nd TOW, said that PAF personnel sprayed
the helicopter with water laced with chemicals to prevent it from exploding.

Lacson said the PAF will help the families of all the fatalities and those injured.
"We will conduct an investigation to find out the cause of the accident. We will help the families of those who died and those who are admitted in the hospitals," Lacson said.

The Lapu-Lapu City police headed by Senior Supt. Louie Oppus closed the
Humayhumay road pending the removal of the helicopter that blocked the
area.


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1 comment:

ladyracs said...

What a tragic accident! Very very sad story... Kalouya sab atong mga nangamaty oi. Wa gyud sila nagdahum mahitabo to sa ila.

Magpray nalang ta sa ilang mga family..... May they rest in PEACE ug CONDOLENCE sa mga natungdan....