Philippines interior secretary untraceable

August 19th, 2012 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Aug 19 (IANS) The interior secretary of the Philippines, who went missing after a plane crash Saturday, remained untraceable Sunday, Xinhua reported.

The five-seater plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed Saturday near an airport in Masbate city in central Philippines’ Masbate province.

The pilots sent a distress call to Masbate airport around 5 p.m., requesting for an emergency landing. However, the plane did not make it to the airport and crashed in the Masbate Bay.

Robredo’s aide Jun Abrazado was rescued from the crash site. Two pilots also were missing.

Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the navy has deployed four ships, two planes, a helicopter and two teams of Naval Special Operations Group divers.

One ship, equipped with a scan-sonar, was able to detect metal on the seabed and divers were checking if the object is part of the wreckage of the plane.

The coast guard, air force, army and Philippine National Police are also helping in the operation.

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