3 confirmed dead in Bulacan chopper crash

Robie de Guzman   •   April 25, 2019   •   3038

The ill-fated chopper half-submerged in a fish pond | Courtesy: PRO3

(UPDATE) Three men were killed when a helicopter crashed into a fishpond in Malolos, Bulacan on Thursday (April 25).

Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of Philippine Red Cross (PRC) confirmed this in a post on his Twitter account.

“Update: Death toll rose to 3 in a helicopter crash in Malolos, Bulacan. Other injured passengers were already transported by our @philredcross team to Bulacan Medical Center,” Gordon said.

Local police initially reported that two passengers died “in an accidental helicopter crash” in Barangay Anilao that happened at past 12 p.m.

Another victim was rushed to the nearest hospital due to injuries sustained after the crash. The victim was later declared dead by attending physician.

Police have yet to release the identities of the victims.

In a separate Twitter post, the PRC said the helicopter was carrying at least six passengers on board. A patient was transported by its ambulance to Bulacan Medical Center.

The helicopter, which bears the body number RP C8098, was described in the report as severely damaged or “total wreck.”

Responding teams are still investigating if there are other victims at the crash site.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the helicopter, bound for San Fernando, Pampanga, took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) General Aviation Hangar around 12:28 p.m.

The chopper was owned and operated by LGC Air Transport.

CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco said an Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board has been dispatched to the crash site.– Robie de Guzman

DOTr targets partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2019

Proposed MRT 7 train

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.

On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.

According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.

The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.

MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.

The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.

It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.

To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.

Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano

Coal baron Cline among seven dead in Bahamas helicopter crash – media

Robie de Guzman   •   July 5, 2019

Coal tycoon and self-made billionaire Christopher Cline, 61, was among the seven people who died in a helicopter crash on Thursday (July 4) in the Bahamas, the Register-Herald of West Virginia reported, citing friends of Cline.

Cline died the day before his 62nd birthday and was a native of Beckley, West Virginia.

Among those killed was also one of Cline’s daughters, the Register-Herald said, citing unnamed friends of Cline.

The helicopter went down shortly after takeoff in the Atlantic Ocean early on Thursday near Walker’s Cay, the northernmost island in the Bahamas, BNO News said, citing unspecified U.S. and Bahamian officials.

The helicopter was headed for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the Palm Beach post reported, citing Bahamian Air Accident Investigation Department’s chief investigator, Delvin Major.

Forbes listed Cline number 1,281 on its billionaires’ list with an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, listing him as self-made.

Cline took coal mining firm Foresight Energy public in 2014 and sold a controlling stake in 2015 for $1.4 billion cash. (REUTERS)

(Production: Bob Mezan)

Three towns in Bulacan still submerged in flood, LGU cautions public against diseases from flood

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 2, 2019

Flooded street in Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines (29 June 2019) | Courtesy: PVI

Bocaue, Balagtas, and Marilao, Bulacan are still submerged in flood due to the plastic waste in rivers.

Several residents are already suffering from skin diseases after wading through flood.

Ferdinand Librenan, one of the residents, said the flood is a huge inconvenience especially for their health.

Sa araw-araw nalang po kaming lahat nahihirapan dahil sa lalim ng tubig lagi mga bara na kanal, basura sobrang baha po, ultimo dumi ng tao tinatapon nalang, nangangati ka ganoon minsan may mga butlig-butlig, (All of us are inconvenienced because of the depth of the water. The waterways are clogged, there are garbage and severe flooding. Even the human waste is thrown here. I get itch and rashes),” he said.

The Bulacan Provincial Health Office reminds residents to always wear rain boots before wading through flood. They also cautioned parents not to let their children wade through flood to avoid diseases.—AAC (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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