Efforts on Cessna 340A shifts from rescue to retrieval operations as all 4 passengers found dead

Manila, Philippines- Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo, Jr. announced on Wednesday evening that the efforts focused on the ill-fated Cessna 340 plane has now shifted from rescue to retrieval operations.

He said the remains of all four passengers were found scattered near the Mayon volcano’s crater.

“It’s not a search and rescue anymore, the operation is now a retrieval because the people on the plane were found dead yesterday. Our four passengers are there,” Baldo told Teleradyo, speaking in Filipino, in an interview.

The plane wreckage is located 6,500 above sea leavel just 350 to 400 meters away from the crater of Mayon Volcano.

Energy Development Corporation has condoled with the berieved families of the passengers.

“We mourn the confirmed passing of our dear colleagues, Captain Rufino James Crisostomo, Jr., Joel G Martin, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam, who were on board the Aircraft RP-C-2080 that was reported missing early Saturday morning shortly after taking off from the Bicol International Airport,” EDC said.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go to their families and friends during this difficult time.”

A report from Radyo Pilipinas said the cadaver of four passengers were found outside the plane as the aircraft exploded.

The said bodies were put inside cadaver bags.

As of press time, the operation team continues to walk down because the helicopter cannot land at the crash site due to the principle called aerodynamics.

Baldo emphasized that this is the situation at the top of the Mayon Volcano, which will be considered to avoid danger to the chopper or rescuer.

They are still assessing, which camp site of the volcano, will the remains to be taken in the chopper.

There are three choppers on standby, as backup to the search, rescue and retrieval team.

Baldo, also the operation’s ground commander, earlier emphasized that the operation places a high priority on protecting the lives of rescuers who had to climb on the slopes of Mayon as they consider flexible execution of plans in order to avoid risking further casualties.