In this file photo, Air Force technicians work on a Bell “Huey” UH-1 helicopter. An Air Force UH-1H helicopter with unit no. 517 carrying seven people crashed in Sitio Nahigit, Brgy. Bulonay, in Bukidnon Saturday afternoon. (Kristina Maralit)
An Air Force UH-1H helicopter carrying about seven people crashed in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, this afternoon, authorities said.
Col. Roel Lami-ing, Bukidnon provincial police director, said helicopter no. 517 crashed in Sitio Nahigit, Brgy. Bulonay, around 2:22 p.m.
“It was reportedly seen taking a nosedive before it hit the ground,” Lami-ing said by phone.
The chopper crashed while passing by Impasug-ong to resupply an operation in Agusan del Sur, he said.
It was totally wrecked, but police have yet to ascertain if there were casualties, Lami-ing added.
Maj. Jennan Montealto, of the Army’s 403rd Brigade, confirmed the incident but declined to give further details, saying there was still an ongoing search.
But a report by authorities in the area stated that “no survivors were seen” at the crash site.
According to the report, the helicopter was carrying pilot Lt. Col. Arnie Arroyo, co-pilot 2Lt. Mark Anthony Caabay, crew chief and gunner SSgt. Mervin Bersabi, another gunner identified as A1C Stephen Agarrado, all of the PAF.
It was also carrying Sgt. Julius Salvador of the Army, one Jerry Ayukdo of the paramilitary Civilian Active Auxiliary, and a still to be identified personnel of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion.
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