Thursday, 9 April 2009

Report: Bodies of all fatalities in chopper crash recovered


MANILA, Philippines - The bodies of all eight fatalities in the crash of a presidential helicopter in the boundary of Benguet and Ifugao have been recovered, a radio report said early Thursday.

Radio dzRH reported Thursday morning that preparations have started preparations to bring the bodies of the eight fatalities to Metro Manila before the end of the day.

It said local officials were to bring the bodies to Loakan Airport in Baguio City before bringing them to Metro Manila, to the families of the victims.

Military information chief Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres said the remains of the victims are expected to arrive at the Villamor Air Base at 10 a.m. Thursday. Arrival honors were to be given.

Torres said an overnight wake will be held at the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing hangar before the remains will be brought to their respective destinations.

Local officials expressed their condolences to the families of the fatalities, with local media saddened over the death of Press Undersecretary Jose Capadocia.

Among the fatalities were three Palace officials, three military personnel, and two pilots, all of the Bell 412 presidential aircraft that crashed in Ifugao.

The chopper that took off from Loakan Airport late Tuesday afternoon was supposed to go to Banaue town in Ifugao province as advance party for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's inspection.

Aside from Capadocia, aboard the chopper were presidential military aide Brig. Gen. Carlos Clet, Undersecretary for Presidential Engagements and Appointments Malou Frostrom, Presidential Management Staff assistant director Perlita Bandayanon, Navy Petty Officer 1 Demy Reyno, and Air Force Staff Sergeant Roe Gem Perez.

The pilots were identified as Major Rolando Sacatani and Captain Alvin Alegata.

Meanwhile, relatives of Frostrom have offered a Mass for her in the late official's native Cebu, a radio report said.

But radio dzRH reported that Frostrom's relatives did not immediately inform her mother of the fate that befell her. Frostrom's mother reportedly has a heart ailment. -

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