Airplane Crashes into Philippine School, 11 Killed

December 12, 2011

At least 11 people, including two children, were killed when a light plane crashed into a school building Saturday near the Philippine capital after its pilot requested an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, officials and the Red Cross said.

Mayor Florencio Bernabe of suburban Paranaque city said the plane burst into flames after hitting the F. Serrano Elementary School.

He said no classes were in session when the plane hit, but officials were determining how many on the ground were hurt or killed.

Police Senior Inspector Dennis Sirilan said the fire spread rapidly to nearby homes after the plane crashed.

He said it wasn’t immediately clear how many people were on the plane, but the pilot and his co-pilot were missing.

Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said 11 bodies have been recovered, including that of an infant and a child.

Civil Aviation Authority chief Ramon Gutierrez said the six-to-eight-seat plane sent out a distress call shortly after taking off from Manila airport for Mindoro Island. The plane crashed before being able to return to the airport.

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