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Small plane crashes outside Philippine capital, killing seven

Small plane crashes outside Philippine capital, killing seven

Small plane crashes outside Philippine capital, killing seven

Nine people died when a small Piper-23 Apache passenger plane crashed into a house shortly after takeoff north of Manila today.

It was carrying six people, including two pilots, and was en route to Laoag in northwestern Luzon.

The incident happened outside the Philippine capital on Saturday.

All five Filipinos on board the six-seat plane were killed, and the crash killed four people on the ground, Plaridel police chief Supt Julio Lizardo said. Rescuers have not been able to determine if the people in the house were killed or have managed to escape, Lizardo said.

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Witnesses said the plane hit a tree and one of the wings slammed into a 12-metre-high electricity pole before crashing into the house and exploding into flames.

"The house was burned while the aircraft was totally wrecked", police spokesman Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao said. "We just retrieved the last body from the gutted house", Casaje said.

In addition, all aircraft operated by Lite Air Express would be grounded pending results of the investigation, the CAAP spokesman said.

"CAAP's accident investigators and a team from Flight Safety and Inspectorate Service (FSIS) was immediately dispatched to the crash site", CAAP said.

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