Officials on Thursday said four people were killed when a Cessna plane crashed near the crater of the Philippines’ most active volcano.
A team of soldiers, firefighters, mountaineers and volunteer rescuers reached the site of the crash on Mayon Volcano in Albay province, about 330 kilometres south-east of Manila, after hiking through rough terrain overnight.
Carlos Baldo, mayor of the town of Camalig in Albay said “we have found the four people who were on board the plane that crashed near the crater of Mayon Volcano, and now we have shifted our operations to retrieval.”
The bodies of the victims, two Filipino pilots and two Australian energy consultants were found near the wreckage, Baldo added.
The emergency team had to climb boulders, cross raging rivers and battle heavy fog to reach the crash site that was located in a restricted zone of the volcano, which was under alert level two amid increased unrest.
“Bringing the bodies down is still a challenge for the team,” Baldo said.
The plane went missing on Saturday minutes after taking off from Bicol International Airport near Mayon en route to Manila.
Rescuers tried to reach the site using military aircraft but failed to land three times due to bad weather.
Mayon is a popular destination for tourists and climbers, due to its near-perfect cone-shape.
However, the volcano has erupted around 50 times in the last 500 years. Its last eruption was in 2018, forcing thousands to evacuate. (dpa/NAN)