A helicopter carrying the Philippine national police chief and seven others, on Thursday crashed shortly after take-off, injuring everyone on board, officials said.
According to the police spokesman, Benigno Durana, National police Chief Archie Gamboa was conscious when he was pulled out of the Bell 429 twin-engine chopper after the crash.
The crash occurred in San Pedro City in Laguna province, about 28 kilometres South of Manila.
The spokesman said two high-ranking police officials, intelligence Chief Mariel Magaway and comptrollership Director Jose Ramos, were unconscious and in critical condition after the crash.
“The chief is okay and suffered an abrasion.
“Gen. Magaway and Ramos are in critical condition but they are being well attended to by the doctors,” Durana said.
The helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from a police compound in San Pedro City, where Gamboa inspected vehicles impounded by the police highway patrol group.
According to Head of the highway patrol group, Wilson Doromal, when the chopper took off it kicked up dust and there was zero visibility.
It hit electrical wires, and that is why it crashed.
The helicopter crashed on its left side, and burst into flames as it hit a street outside the police compound.
Debris flew out from the chopper, hitting some nearby houses and vehicles.
Durana added that the other people on board include police national spokesman Bernard Banac, Gamboa’s aide, two pilots and a crew member.
They were all in a stable condition.
The ill-fated helicopter was the first of seven choppers purchased by the national police under its modernisation programme in 2018.