PAF helicopter crash-lands in Sarangani
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter dispatched to evacuate soldiers wounded in a fight with the New People’s Army (NPA) crash-landed in Sarangani province yesterday morning.

The military said the air mishap wounded nine of the passengers and crewmembers, including one of the pilots who suffered a broken leg.

Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said the UH-ID helicopter was already maneuvering to land at an elevated area, the pick-up zone of combat casualties, at Sitio Lamsalo in Barangay Upper Suyan Malapatan at 9:40 a.m. when it was battered by strong winds, causing the aircraft to spin.

Since last week, soldiers are on pursuit mode against rebels who torched a school building project of Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao in Malapatan until they caught with the insurgents on Thursday.

Skirmishes between elements of the 73rd Infantry Battalion and an undetermined number of NPA rebels have been going on in the outskirts of Sitio Lamsalo since Thursday.

In Friday morning’s clash, a soldier was killed while five others were wounded.

Baladad ordered an immediate air evacuation operation, but the UH-ID helicopter failed to land in the area last Friday afternoon due to cloudy weather and strong winds.

“The chopper returned yesterday morning and was already executing landing procedure when it was hit by strong winds and crash-landed,” Eastmincom spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said.

 

A PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE ALBERTO CABER AURELIO BALADAD BARANGAY UPPER SUYAN MALAPATAN EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND EASTMINCOM IN FRIDAY INFANTRY BATTALION MANNY PACQUIAO NEW PEOPLE SITIO LAMSALO
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