PNP top brass cheated death in Laguna chopper crash

NATIONAL Police Chief General Francisco “Archie” Gamboa and three other top PNP officers have survived when a chopper carrying them crashed after hitting an overhead power lines on take off at Laperal Compound, Barangay San Antonio, San Pedro, Laguna Thursday morning.

This develops as the PNP Command Group and Quad Staff grounded the entire PNP fleet of rotary wing aircarft as a standard measures while investigation is underway.

Police Chief General Francisco “Archie” Gamboa

“The PNP Command Group and Quad Staff convened and placed the entire fleet grounded while the incident in under investigation,” said Police Community Relations Director Benigno Durana, Jr., also the acting spokesman of the PNP.

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Except for Police Major Gen. Mariel Mangaway, Directorate for Intelligence (DI) and Police Maj. Gen. Jose Ma. Rmos, of the Directorate for Comptrollership who remained unconscious as of press time, all occupants of the ill-fated helicopter are safe.

“All the passengers and crew of the ill-fated police helicopter, that crashed in Laguna this morning, are safe and currently undergoing treatment for minor injuries in different hospitals,” stated Durana in  a text message to media.

Also on board the chopper are the two pilots identified through their ranks and family names as Lt. Colonel Zalatar; and Lt. Colonel Macawili. Sergeant Estona, flight crew, and Police Capt. Gayrama, aide -de-camp of Gamboa.

The group, according to report were on board PNP chopper with body number RP3086 Bell 429, and are heading to Calamba, but crashed minutes after it took off.

A radio reporter who was at the scene said the pilot encountered difficulties to take off due to thick dust that blanketed the helicopter past 8 a.m.
The PNP expressed thanks to the first responder and private individuals who assisted the rescue and evacuation of Chief PNP and his party as well as to everyone who expressed well wishes and prayed for the safety of all passengers. 

The PNP maintains a fleet of Airbus H-125, Bell 429, and Robinson R-44, multi-role police helicopters.

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