Two days after the body of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was found in the plane wreckage, bodies of the two pilots were finally recovered from the water.
Divers found a body held by the seatbelt into the cockpit of the plane on the seafloor. The body was successfully recovered after a failed attempt Wednesday noon. According to DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas, divers had to lift the plane fuselage to a more shallow level to retrieve the body. Orson Bahinting confirmed that the body found was his brother’s, Captain Jessup Bahinting.
22-year old Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand’s body was found floating off the crash site Thursday morning. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Philippine government will assist in transporting Chand’s body back to Nepal.
Gazmin told reporters that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will lead the crash probe. Major General Eduardo Del Rosario said that dive experts, including Korean volunteer divers, will help retrieve the ill-fated Piper Seneca.
President Benigno Aquino has proclaimed National Days of Mourning until Robredo is finally laid to rest in his hometown in Naga City, southern Philippines. National flags in all government offices are at half-mast.