No survivors in C-130 crash–PAF
US Navy ship to help locate downed plane
MANILA, Philippines — The two pilots and seven crewmen of an Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane that crashed into the Davao Gulf Monday have been officially declared dead, Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lieutenant General Pedrito Caudngog said Friday.
The declaration, after three days of search operations yielded no signs of life, would speed up the delivery of benefits to the dead airmen’s families, Cadungog said in a phone interview.
The crew of the downed plane were Major Manuel Zambrano, pilot, his co-pilot Captain Adrian de Dios, Technical Sergeant Constantino Lobrigas and Staff Sergeants Gary Diñoso, Felix Pedro Patriarca, Patricio Claur Jr., Aldrin Illustrisimo, Petronilo Fernandez and John Ariola.
Cadungog said he could not confirm reports that two Army soldiers were also on the ill-fated aircraft, pointing out that their names were not on the flight manifest.
“We can’t find anything more but floating debris, that’s why this morning [Friday], we declared that there are no more survivors,” he said.
Aside from airplane parts, like the landing gear and a seat, search teams from the Navy and the Coast guard also fished out human body parts from the waters between Davao City and Samal Island.
The plane’s fuselage is believed to be on the seabed, up to 800 feet below the surface.
Cadungog added that the USNS John McDonnell (not McDonald, as erroneously given earlier by PAF spokesman Major Gerardo Zamudio), which the US Navy has dispatched to help locate the plane’s wreckage, will arrive Saturday afternoon, instead of Friday as originally scheduled.
“[The ship will help] determine the depth, position, and location of the airplane,” Cadungog said.
The ship’s findings would determine whether or not the fuselage can be salvaged.
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