10 dead after plane crashes into house in Plaridel, Bulacan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — Ten people, including three minors, were killed after a small plane crashed into a residential area in Plaridel, Bulacan on Saturday.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said a six-seater Piper PA-23 Apache aircraft operated by Lite Air Express bound for Laoag, Ilocos Norte crashed upon takeoff from Plaridel Airport at 11:21 a.m.

At around 5 p.m., the Plaridel police said they have retrieved 10 bodies from the site of the crash in Barangay Lumang Bayan.

All five people onboard the plane died in the crash:

  • Capt. Ruel M. Meloria (Pilot)
  • Romeo H. Huenda (Chief Mechanic)
  • Alicia N. Necesario (Passenger)
  • Maria Vera F. Pagaduan (Passenger)
  • Nelson T. Melgar (Passenger)

The five other casualties belonged to a family living in the house the plane crashed into.

The local social welfare office identified them as Rissa Dela Rosa, the mother, and her children John Noel Dela Rosa, 17, Timothy Noel, 10, and Krissa, 7. The grandmother, Luisa Santos, 75, also died from the incident.

Noel dela Rosa said his wife and three children were having lunch when the incident happened.

He was at work, and rushed home after hearing the news.

Dela Rosa's other son was at school when the crash happened.

The community airport, used by aviation schools for training, is surrounded by residential houses.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio told CNN Philippines the aircraft underwent safety check and the airport is functioning well.

However, residents told the police they heard strange noises coming from the plane.

"Pa-take off yung plane, papunta ng Laoag, pag take off niya, hindi naka-take off tapos bumagsak. Nakikita natin it is about 50 meters from the runway doon sa bahay na binagsakan," Plaridel police chief Julio Lizardo said.

(Translation: The plane was about to take off for Laoag. It wasn't able to take off and it crashed. It was about 50 meters from the runway when it crashed on the house.)

The CAAP said all aircraft operated by Lite Air Express are grounded, pending the result of the investigation.

"CAAP is doing its best to make all our airports safe and secure...The Plaridel Airport is designed only for small aircraft and for flying schools," Apolonio said.