Asia-Pacific

NZ couple among nine dead in Philippine plane crash

Tom Carr and Erma Carr. Source: Facebook

A New Zealand couple were among nine people killed when a light plane crashed in the Philippines while carrying out a medical airlift.

Philippine officials say a New Zealand couple were among nine people killed in a small plane conducting a medical airlift when it crashed and exploded in flames at a resort south of Manila.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Wellington said on Monday it was providing consular assistance to the family of the couple "who sadly died in the plane crash in the Philippines," but that it could not provide any other information for privacy reasons.

Philippine authorities identified the couple as Tom Carr and Erma Carr, a Filipina with New Zealand citizenship.

Officials are investigating why the Beechcraft King Air plane carrying the couple and seven Filipinos crashed on Sunday in Pansol village as it approached its destination, Manila. 

The light plane crashed into a resort compound in Pansol village in Laguna province near the foothills of Mount Makiling on Sunday.

Police and rescuers retrieved nine bodies from the wreckage, police said.

Two people on the ground were injured and brought to a hospital.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio said the light plane was on a medical evacuation flight from southern Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte province and disappeared from radar for unknown reasons as it flew over Laguna.

The plane was supposed to land in Manila.

The nine on board the plane included two pilots, two nurses, a doctor, a patient, the patient's wife and two other people, police said.

Videos posted online by witnesses showed flames and black smoke billowing from the private resort compound in Pansol, a district popular for its hot springs and swimming pools.

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