MIAA firefighters train their hoses at the plane that crashed and exploded upon takeoff at the NAIA last night. The plane carried five passengers and three flight crew.
Rudy Santos
8 killed as medevac plane crashes at NAIA
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2020 - 1:00am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 9:04 a.m.) — A light plane evacuating a patient to Japan crashed and exploded shortly after takeoff from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last night, killing all eight people on board that included a medical evacuation crew, the Canadian patient and an American.

The Philippine-registered Lionair Westwind was bound for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in Japan and had just taken off from Runway 24 when it turned into a fireball at past 8 p.m. yesterday.

Those killed were the pilot, Capt. Mario Medina Jr., co-pilots Ren Edward Ungson and Melvin de Castro, Dr. Cenover Nicandro Bautista II, flight medic Edmark Jael, nurse Conrado Tomeldan Jr., Canadian patient John Richard Hurst and his assistant Marilyn Vergara de Jesus, who holds a US passport.

NAIA authoritities temporarily closed Runway 24.

It was the second medical evacuation plane to crash in the Philippines in less than seven months. On Sept. 1 last year, all nine passengers and flight crew died when a Beechcraft King Air 350 plane evacuating a New Zealand patient to Manila from Zamboanga del Norte crashed in Laguna.

There were unconfirmed reports that the plane that crashed last night was one of two also used by the Department of Health.

LION AIR WEST WING NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
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