ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/1 Oct) – Three aircrew died while another was injured when one of two UH-1H (Huey) helicopters undertaking resupply mission developed “lost of engine power prior to landing” in a remote village of the island province of Sulu, a military official disclosed Saturday.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, disclosed that the air accident took place around 8:20 a.m. Saturday in the vicinity of Camp Balabad, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu.
Cabangbang disclosed the accident occurred while the two Hueys with tail numbers 606 and 794 were on their second sortie from Camp General Teodulfo Baustista in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu, to Camp Balabad in Patikul.
Camp Bautista houses the headquarters of the 3rd Marine Brigade while Camp Balabad is the home of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 (MBLT-6).
The two helicopters took off around 6:56 a.m. for the first sortie of the resupply mission from Camp Bautista to Camp Balabad.
Cabangbang said the helicopter with tail number 606 “hit hard on the ground and rolled down a hill” though the pilots initiated emergency landing after it lost engine power before landing.
Three of the four people on board – two pilots and one crew – aboard died while another crew was injured as the helicopter was totally wrecked, Cabangbang said.
He said there was no information yet as to the identities of the casualties yet.
He said the remains of the fatalities and the survivor were airlifted by the other UH-1H helicopter to the military trauma hospital in Camp Bautista.
MBLT-6 troops immediately rushed to the accident site to secure the area, he said. (MindaNews)