Cebu Reporter's Blog

A reporter's ramblings on the latest news and happenings in Cebu

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cessna plane crashes in Cebu; 6 onboard safe

By Cebu Reporter

MACTAN, Cebu – A six-seater Cessna plane owned by Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay ditched into waist-deep sea waters off barangay Subabasbas here this morning (Feb. 7, 2007) when it fell short of fuel on its way to a refueling stop in the island.

All six persons who were onboard the twin-engine turboprop BN Islander, including plane pilot Ding Dahan and his co-pilot Leo Dahan, survived the crash with no major injuries, said Capt. Edwin Remo of the 505th Search and Rescue Group based at the Mactan Airbase.

Pichay was not among those who were onboard the plane.

The other four passengers were identified as Giovanni Paz and his wife Nita, Priscillo Paz, and airplane mechanic Bernard Bersano. All six of them managed to get out of the plane after it crashed into the sea waters, about 200 meters from the nearest shoreline, and were rescued by elements of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Fire Department and the 505th Search and Rescue Group.

Capt Remo said the plane was on its way to Manila from the southern city of Davao and had planned a refueling stop in Mactan but fell short of fuel, shutting down the right engine. Reports revealed that it was the fourth time that plane pilot Dahan figured in plane crash but Dahan was not ready to give statement to the press yesterday.

The RP C1047 plane was on its final approach when it ran out of fuel said Remo. A resident of barangay Subabasbas claimed he saw the airplane looking as if it was just floating in the air past 8 a.m. yesterday morning. Remo said the pilot tried to maneuver the plane that was running on a single engine to avoid crashing into residential areas.

Other residents watched the airplane crash into the waist-deep waters near the Plantation Bay Resort and then gathered into the sea-waters in an attempt to rescue the passengers and the two pilots. Rescue personnel, however, were already on stand by because the plane pilot managed to contact the control tower at the MCIA to report the fuel shortage.

All six survivors were brought to the Mactan Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and were later transferred to a hotel resort. The Air Transportation Office immediately launched an investigation into the accident. #


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