PNP chief, ranking officers hurt in chopper crash

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MANILA – A helicopter carrying Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa and several ranking police officers crashed in San Pedro, Laguna on Thursday morning.

“Gamboa and six other passengers of the helicopter that crashed on Laguna were brought to a nearby hospital for treatment. All police officers and pilots were safe with minor injuries,” the PNP-Public Information Office said in a statement sent to reporters.

Aside from Gamboa, onboard the helicopter heading towards Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba were PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac; Director for Comptrollership Maj. Gen. Jovic Ramos; and Director for Intelligence Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, among others.

Laguna Provincial Police director, Lt. Col. Serafin Petalio II, said Gamboa had a minor injury from the incident.

Okay naman siya, may galos siya sa kanang balikat lang (He is okay. He just had an abrasion on his right shoulder,” Petalio said in a phone interview.

He said Gamboa and seven other passengers were safe and taken to the nearest hospital.

Petalio said while the chopper got stuck in electrical wirings due to zero visibility, the pilot still managed to prevent it from crashing towards a cliff.

Kasi maalikabok syempre malabo, sumabit sa wire (It was got stuck in wires because it’s dusty in the area),” Petalio bared.

Highway Patrol Group special operations division chief, Capt. Rannie Estilles, who was among the first responders to the incident, said Gamboa was seated on the right side of the eight-seater bell chopper that went down on its left side and was first to be pulled out from the helicopter.The incident occurred after Gamboa visited the Laperal compound of Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Barangay San Antonio in San Pedro, Laguna for inspection. (PNA)