Medical helicopter with 5 aboard missing in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A helicopter carrying five people, including a hospital patient and a nurse, went missing in a western Philippine province on Wednesday and an air and sea search has been launched, civil aviation officials said.
The helicopter, carrying a pilot, the patient, two companions and a nurse, was flying to a hospital in Brooke's Point in Palawan from another town in the island province when it went missing, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said.
All those aboard are Filipinos except for the nurse, who is American, said Eric Apolonio, the aviation agency's spokesperson, citing a report from a rescue coordination center.
Coast guard vessels and a small plane were deployed in the search for the helicopter, which was operated by a medical aviation services firm, aviation and coast guard officials said.
It was the latest in a series of aviation incidents involving small aircraft in the country in recent weeks.
A Cessna 340 plane carrying two Filipino crew and two Australian energy company consultants crashed on Mayon, one of the country's most active volcanoes, in Albay province southeast of Manila on Feb. 18. Their bodies were retrieved from the wreckage after days of a high-risk search.