Authorities said an object that could be part of the wreckage from a missing Cessna plane was spotted near Barangay Sapinit in Divilacan, Isabela.
Isabela Provincial Information Office administrative officer Joshua Hapinat also said that a rescue team has already been dispatched to verify the information.
Quoted by a GMA News report, Hapinat said “Today, I received information as of 6:45 a.m., that people 25-kilometers near the Ilagan-Divilacan Road said they spotted an object that could be a wreckage of the plane on the mountainside near Sapinit.”
The official added that “the information was not detailed but it could be a wreckage.”
On Friday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that a white object was sighted in Barangay Dicaruyan, Divilacan, Isabela during a search and rescue operation for the missing Cessna plane.
PDRRMO head Constante Foronda said the area where the object was sighted was consistent with the hints they have on the possible location of the missing plane including an account of a farmer, a passenger’s phone, and a report of a sound allegedly coming from an aircraft, GMA News reported.
Hapinat said that the ground search for Cessna RPC 1174 and its six passengers would continue on Sunday and the focus would be on the mountainside near Barangay Sapinit.
However, he said it is still uncertain if the choppers would be able to take off within the day given the bad weather on the northern part of Sierra Madre.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) had already asked the Hong Kong Mission Control Center (HKMCC) and Japan Mission Control Center (JAMCC) for help in the search and rescue operations.
GMA News further reported that the CAAP has already coordinated with counterparts in Japan and Hong Kong to review their respective systems for “distress alert” from the RPC1174.
However, both of them responded “no detection” based on their emergency locator transmitters, according to CAAP.
CAAP also extended the schedule of their operations and the opening of the Cauayan airport for the search and rescue team.
Two investigators from the CAAP Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board are also on standby for deployment once the missing plane is found.
The plane went missing after taking off from the Cauayan airport in Isabela on Tuesday afternoon.