At least seven Filipino soldiers, including a colonel of the Air Force, have been killed when a helicopter they were flying crashed in the southern Philippines while searching for Communist rebels over the weekend.
The military is flying a helicopter, a refurbished UH-1H Vietnamese-era aircraft commonly known as Huey, on Saturday with another Huey to replenish a remote base in Pantalon, a mountainous region of Bukidnon, he said.
“I told them that other helicopters were chasing smoke over the air,” said Maj. Gen. Andres Centeno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division of the Army. “It crashed into the open field.”
No survivors were found when the rescue team arrived in the area, he said.
The names of the soldiers were not disclosed until the family was notified, but the military said the highest rank was the Air Force Colonel. Of the other six, three were Air Force soldiers and three served in the Army.
He said more than 50 guerrilla groups were scattered all over the country, but “on the verge of collapse.”
The crash on Saturday was not the first time Huey used by the military. In November, a soldier died when a helicopter of the same manufacturer crashed while evacuating an army injured in a battle with Islamic extremists. Source: Eminetra