Philippine army retrieves bodies of Indian student pilot, Filipino trainer killed in small plane crash

The aircraft was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon, local media reported; the wreckage was found the next day


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Published: Thu 3 Aug 2023, 10:24 PM

The bodies of a 20-year-old Indian student pilot and his Filipino trainer were retrieved on Thursday after their small plane crashed in the Philippines, authorities said.

The military has recovered the bodies of two persons, Captain Edzel John Lumbao Tabuzo, 24, and student-pilot Anshum Rajkumar Konde who were killed in the two-seater Cessna plane crash on Tuesday in Luna, Apayao.

The Army 503rd Infantry Brigade has also identified the victims, the Manila Bulletin newspaper reported.

The body of Tabuzo, the pilot of the ill-fated RP-C8958 Cessna 152 plane, has been turned over to his family and that of Konde, an Indian national, is currently undergoing processing before being turned over to the Indian Embassy, the report added.

The plane’s black box was also recovered.

An Apayao Public Information Office (PIO) drone together with a group of uniformed personnel with assistance from a resident spotted the wreckage.

The Philippine Army (PA), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) conducted Search, Rescue and Retrieval Operations (SRR) to reach the wreckage after the exact location of the crash site was identified.

Apayao Gov. Elias C. Bulut Jr. and the province of Apayao have extended condolences to the families of the victims.

The Echo Air Cessna 152 aircraft was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon after departing from Laoag International Airport at 12:16 pm, local media reported.

It was to reach Tuguegarao Airport at 3:16 p.m. However, it failed to land.

The wreckage of the plane was found in the province of Apayao on Wednesday afternoon.


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