'No survivors': Isabela IMT head confirms death of Cessna 206 pilot, 5 passengers

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The 95th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Divison search and rescue teams searching for the pilot and five passengers of Cessna 206 last January 27, 2023. (Photos from the Philippine Army)
Cessna 206 operatives found no survivors after locating the previously missing plane in Barangay Ditarum, Divilacan on Thursday morning, March 9.
Isabela Incident Management Team (IMT) Head Atty. Constante Foronda confirmed the news in a press conference on the same day the search operations ended after 44 days.
Foronda added that they delayed the announcement to inform the families of the victims ahead, as the search ended after 44 days.
"Sadly, there were no survivors. We delayed this briefing until the relatives of all the passengers and the pilot have been informed," he said.
The victims were identified as Captain Eleazar Mark Joven, 59, and passengers Josefa Perla Espana, 59; Val Kamatoy, 34; Mark Eiron Siguerra, 21; and two boys aged 16 and 10 years old.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and some Dumagat spotted the Cessna plane around 11:46 am, and upon discovering the lifeless bodies of its passengers, the IMT shifted from search and rescue to retrieval operations.
Divilacan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Engr. Ezikiel Chavez told that it would take three days for the retrievers to bring the six bodies either to a designated area at Divilican or Maconacon before moving them to Cauayan.
"Expected sir bukas sila makakarating sa area, not sure kung anong time. Basta expected natin na maibaba yong mga bodies po dito is within 3 days from now po," Chavez claimed.
This became inevitable considering the several challenges the retrievers will encounter, such as weather and terrain.
"Weather at tsaka po 'yong terrain talaga ang challenges. Wala pong lugar na patag. Kung hindi po pababa ay pataas. Puro puno, walang dire-diretsong lakad 'yong ating mga retrieval operators o retrieval personnel, kailangan iwasan ang mga puno," Foronda stated.
(The challenges are really the weather and the terrain. There is no place that is flat. It's full of trees, our retrieval operators or retrieval personnel won't walk on a straight path, you have to avoid the trees.)
"Walang established path doon sa lugar na 'yon, especially mayroon silang dala-dalang labi ng pasahero at piloto kaya matatagalan ang kanilang pagbaba."
(There is no established path in that area, especially because they will carry the remains of the passengers and pilots, so it will take a long time for them to get down.)
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board (AAIIB) will proceed with their investigation.
Bounded for Maconacon, the aircraft departed from Cauayan Domestic Airport on January 24 until the air traffic controllers lost contact with it an hour after its takeoff.

Last Modified: 2023-Mar-14 10.33.02 UTC+0800