6 people die in helicopter crash in northern Philippines

17:27, May 17, 2010      

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Outgoing Quezon Governor Rafael Nantes and five others died when a civilian helicopter crashed at a subdivision in Lucena City in the northern Philippine province of Quezon on Monday afternoon.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command Spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said the chopper exploded around 3: 15 p.m, about 300 meters upon takeoff.

Bolina said the helicopter crashed at the Hael subdivision at Barangay Iyam in Lucena City, the provincial capital. He said the chopper hit and burned two houses on the ground. Nantes, his escorts- one Msgt. Dominguez, one PO3 Roperez - and an unidentified pilot were killed in the crash. Two civilians on the ground were also killed.

Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali, Solcom commander, said the aircraft was on the way to Manila when it exploded.

"A total of six died, including the two civilians. The chopper came here (in Lucena). 300 meters from takeoff, it exploded," he said.

Military and police personnel immediately responded to retrieve the bodies and conduct initial investigation.

Bolina said they will investigate if the chopper was sabotaged.

Nantes sought a re-election for governor of Quezon under Liberal Party. But he lost to David Suarez who belongs to the administration party Lakas-Kampi CMD.

Source: Xinhua
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