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PIA Press Release
2008/08/29

Task Force C-130 Hercules lacks sonar equipment

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (29 August) -- On its third day of search and rescue operations, Task Force Hercules admitted it can only do so little without the help of a sonar equipment to determine the exact location of the crash site involving the Philippine Air Force ill-fated C-130.

TF C-130 Hercules Commander Captain Rosauro Arnel Gonzales admitted the team's weakness in investigating the case.

In a press conference yesterday, Gonzales explained that the sonar readings gathered by the team Wednesday which gave them a possible location of the crashed plane is not sufficient for the team to believe in.

"What we have at the moment is the fish-finder sonar but it can only determine the top view of the underwater. What we need actually is sonar equipment that would provide side view of the area," he said.

The TF chair informed the media in yesterday's press conference that the Philippine Navy lacks that particular equipment. Thus, it can only rely much on any private citizen who may have a shipping vessel that has such sonar capability.

He also suspected that such equipment may not be available in the country but the team is positive that such may be borrowed from any international organization.

Gonzales bared that the national government is yet to extend assistance to the team after the TF will submit its initial findings and recommendations on their search and rescue operations.

PAF Technical Operations Group 11 chief Colonel Isagani Silva released no updates on the said case as the task force is also coordinating and synchronizing their own investigation with the independent Aircraft Investigation Board that is now on its second day of investigation.

Silva still sticks on the team's official manifesto that showed two pilots and seven crew members on board the plane. This early, he could not deny nor confirm allegations that there are other unlisted passengers on board C-130 Hercules.

"Let us just wait on the final results of our investigation before we can release any statement regarding the case," he said.

The team expressed difficulty in solving the case especially that the aircraft does not have any black box that would at least provide vital information before the plane crashed.

Silva also stressed that the team has discounted the possibility of sabotage as this angle did not come out from the testimonies of witnesses.

Junie Singco of Barangay Agdao narrated to the media how his attention was captured by a disturbing sound of the aircraft. He saw the plane entered the dark clouds and exploded after three seconds. Singco suspected that it was caused by the lightning that may have hit the aircraft.

He also witnessed bits and pieces of the vessel fell from air and landed on water which he believed is near the location of a shipping vessel.

" From that testimony, we are also finding out the possible shipping vessel and ask them how come there was no report that came from the ship when a witness found that the plane crashed near it," Gonzales said.

TF C-130 Hercules appealed to the public to assist them in providing any form of help for the speedy results of their investigation as well as search and rescue operations. (PIA) [top]

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