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German, American relief workers rescued from plane crash

MALOLOS CITY , Philippines   – Fishermen rescued a German and an American relief workers after the helicopter carrying them crashed in Manila Bay off Bulacan Sunday afternoon.

A source said a US Marine C-130 aircraft located the crashed helicopter some four kilometers from the shore of Hagonoy, Bulacan.

The two were identified as Capt. James Eagles, the pilot; and  Capt. Iren Donnier, the lone passenger.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said pilots from a military C-130 plane threw two life vests when they saw the two floating in the water.

The military plane heard the mayday alert and rushed to the area, the CAAP added.

The helicopter was reportedly on the way back to its home base in Pampanga after delivering relief goods to Caticlan, Aklan when it encountered engine trouble.

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Bulacan police director Senior Superintendent Joel Orduna said the two were taken either to Clark Freeport Zone or Subic Freeport Zone.

The helicopter probably sank in a deep part of Manila Bay, he added.

The CAAP Operation Rescue and Coordinating Center contacted the Coast Guard, which immediately sent rubber boats.

CAAP investigators are investigating to determine the cause of the accident.

Aviation Enterprises based in Clark International Airport operated the helicopter, the CAAP said. – With Ding Cervantes, Rudy Santos, Ric Sapnu

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