Two feared dead in plane crash off Santiago cove in Ilocos Sur


SANTIAGO, Ilocos Sur—A small airplane carrying two passengers crashed into the sea on Friday afternoon after it flew too close to a zip line near the shore of Santiago cove.

Rescuers have not been able to retrieve the bodies of pilot John Kaizan Estabillo and Paula Biance Robles from the cockpit of the Cessna airplane underwater, about 700 meters from the coast.

The airplane, bearing body numbers RP-C7838, flew from the airport at Vigan City and was observed flying around the cove by witnesses when it suddenly tried to pull up to avoid the zip line which was set up 50 to 70 meters high.

The right wing of the plane snagged the zip line forcing it to fall into the sea at 3:28 p.m., said Michael Barba, a resident here.

READ: Trainer aircraft crashes near resort in Ilocos Sur town

Disaster relief workers, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy sent divers, but they were unable to open the cockpit. Rescuers sent for equipment to pry the bodies from the airplane.

Some of the fatalities’ belongings floated to the surface, and some of their documents suggested that Robles was studying to fly a plane. The name of a flight school was also in the papers recovered by the divers.

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