Mayon volcano: Rescuers search for survivors of Philippine plane crash

Philippine rescuers are scouring the slopes of an active volcano for survivors after a small plane crashed near the crater.

The search on the Mayon volcano entered its third day on Tuesday, with helicopters, mountain climbers and sniffer dogs deployed to the wreckage.

Two Filipino crew and two Australian consultants of a geothermal firm are among the missing.

Bad weather has slowed the search since the plane was found Sunday.

Local authorities have flagged the risks around Mayon, which last erupted in 2018. The 4km (2.5 miles) radius around it has been declared a permanent danger zone for landslides and rockslides.

Heavy rains have in the past washed down volcanic debris, triggering mudslides and flash floods. The most recent incident happened in 2020, when Super Typhoon Goni, known locally as Rolly, lashed the Philippines’ Pacific Coast.

Cedric Daep, who is leading the search, told local radio DZGB that the provincial governor was hoping to find survivors by Tuesday.

The Cessna 340 aircraft went missing shortly after departing for Manila from a local airport several kilometres from Mayon on Saturday.

Authorities said the aircraft had been seen 300 to 350 metres from the crater.

As of Tuesday, Mayon was under the second lowest of a five-step eruption warning system. This means some gas emissions and rockfalls have been observed.

It was the second time in as many months that a Cessna plane went missing in the Philippines. The first fell off the radar on 24 January and had not been found.

Cessnas are commonly used in the archipelago nation for inter-island hops and pilot training.

Source: BBC

Ray Charles Marfo

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