Thick clouds and dangerous terrain proved to be challenging in the retrieval of the bodies of the four fatalities of the Cessna plane that crashed in Mayon Volcano, Camalig Mayor Carlos Baldo said.
The wreckage of the Cessna 340 plane, which went missing on Saturday morning three minutes after taking off from the Bicol International Airport, is located at an elevation of 3,500 to 4,000 feet on the west side slope of Mayon.
“We cannot complete the operation today because even when the weather was fair yesterday, Mayon was covered in thick clouds. Our retrievers could hardly perform their task… And when they were moving the bodies, rocks fell down so it would be dangerous for our rescuers,” Baldo said.
“The plan is to put in place an anchor bolt or expanded bolt which we will drill into the rocks if there are stable rocks in the area so that if something happens, our rescuers have something to hold on to,” the mayor added.
He said the retrieval teams were able to take photos and videos of the area as well as some of the passengers’ belongings.
The fatalities were identified as pilot Captain Rufino James Crisostomo Jr. and co-pilot Joel G. Martin, and passengers Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam.
Meanwhile, the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) appealed to the public not to share images of the fatalities on social media.
“Now that the search and rescue has shifted to retrieval and we expect photos and video shots of the plane wreckage and the passengers to be taken by government for documentation purposes, we kindly appeal to all to refrain from publicly sharing on social media and other platforms all related images, especially of the passengers, out of respect for their bereaved families and friends who are grieving for the loss of their loved ones,” the EDC said
“We express our deepest gratitude to all the government and civilian volunteer search and rescue teams and special forces teams that have tirelessly helped work in the search, rescue, and retrieval of our four dear kapamilya.”