Plane crashes onto Philippine slum, killing 13
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Last Updated: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 00:02
Manila: A four-seater cargo plane on Saturday crashed onto a crowded Philippine slum, sparking a fire that killed 13 people and left five missing and at least another 20 injured, officials said.

The crash and the resulting blaze killed both the pilot, co-pilot, and their lone passenger while the other fatalities are thought to be residents of the shanty town, said chief inspector Wilson Tana, a fire investigator.

"The fire department got here quickly, but we had trouble because the passageways are so narrow," he said.

"There might be more bodies," he added as firefighters cleared away blackened sheets of corrugated iron in search of bodies that might have been pinned underneath. At least five other residents of the burnt shanties are missing, Tana said.

However, investigators had not brought search lights and the search effectively stopped as night fell among the twisted wreckage of burnt slum homes, a news agency reporter saw. A news agency photographer on the scene said the fire gutted a 2,000-square-metre section of the slum that stood either side of an open sewer.

The blaze also engulfed a nearby elementary school, but it was empty at the time because it was a weekend, Philippine National Red Cross secretary-general Gwendolyn Pang said.

"I thought it would crash on me," said resident Randy Molina, recounting the stricken plane's final moments as it tried to return to nearby Manila airport after detecting unspecified trouble shortly after take-off.


First Published: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 00:02

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