Four bodies found on Philippine volcano after Cessna crash

Mount Mayon is a volcano in the Philippines where a Cessna plane crashed killing four people onboard
MDV Edwards /

Officials have confirmed the four bodies found on the Philippine volcano, Mount Mayon, are those of the crew and passengers that went missing while flying in a Cessna.

Those killed were identified as pilot Capt. Rufino James T. Crisostomo Jr, crew member Joel G. Martin and technical consultants Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam.

All four were employees of local geothermal firm Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

The six-seater Cessna 340 aircraft lost contact with air traffic control on February 18, 2023, and could not be located, but on February 21, 2023 plane wreckage was spotted on Mount Mayon.

A rescue team was launched to scale the volcano, which last erupted in 2018, and on February 23 it was confirmed that four bodies had been found and identified.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong spoke at a press conference in Fiji and said there were “no survivors”.

“On behalf of the Australian Government, I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the two men, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam, both from Adelaide, my home-town, as well as the Filipino nationals involved,” said Wong.

According to CNN Philippines the Filipino crew were identified by Camalig mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo.

EDC also released an emotional statement in response to the confirmation that four of its employees had been killed.

“We stand in compassion and deep sorrow with the families of our fallen Kapamilyas in this unthinkable tragedy. We are working with authorities to bring them home to their loved ones where they may rest in peace,” the message read.

The statement continued: “We kindly ask that you continue in your prayers and thoughts for the friends and families of Capt. Rufino James Crisostomo Jr., Joel Martin, Simon Chipperfield, and Karthi Santhanam as they navigate through this painful loss.”

The mission to find the plane wreckage involved 200 personnel plus 34 vehicles, 11 drones and four K9 dogs.

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