Authorities in the Philippines fear two South Australian engineers who were aboard a small plane are dead after the plane’s wreckage was found near an active volcano.
Search and rescue teams have been trying to locate four people, including Adelaide men Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santanan, since the plane they were on board crashed near the Mayon volcano in the south-eastern part of the country’s largest island , Luzon, crashed.
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The Cessna 340A plane departed Albay’s Bicol International Airport for Manila on Saturday morning, but aviation authorities reported it missing when the crew could not be contacted.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said air traffic controllers last contacted the plane at 6:46 a.m. when it was near Cammalig at an altitude of just over 790 meters.
The wreckage of the plane was discovered Sunday afternoon along the gorge of the Mayon volcano, about 350 meters from the crater, but none of the four men were found, according to the Albay Provincial Information Bureau.
Camalign Mayor Caloy G. Baldo stressed that if no bodies were found, the search and rescue operation would continue.
He said officials would continue to conduct aerial surveys and a ground search despite the difficult weather conditions.
Chipperfield and Santanan were engineers at the Energy Development Corporation, the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines.
You were previously an employee of the Australian gas producer Santos.
The plane’s pilot, Captain Rufino James Crisostomo, and another person on board, Joel Martin, are also missing.
Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the search and was supporting the men’s families.
“The Australian Embassy is in liaison with local authorities and is providing consular assistance to the families of two Australians who have been reported missing,” a spokesman said.
“Our thoughts are with her friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
https://7news.com.au/news/sa/former-australian-santos-employees-missing-after-small-plane-crashed-near-active-volcano-in-philippines-c-9813007 Former Australian Santos employees missing after light plane crashed near active volcano in Philippines