x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirati 'OK' after plane crash-lands

Philippines Civil Aviation Authority investigating crash

An Emirati instructor pilot has been given a clean bill of health after his plane crash-landed in the Philippines on Wednesday.

Musa Abdul Wahid Abdul Ghaffar Al Khaja, the UAE ambassador to the Philippines, identified the pilot as Khairi Al Muqbali, 28.

"He's OK based on his CT scan and X-ray results," Mr Al Khaja said by phone from Manila. "The police also told us that he's OK, but we still would like to offer any form of assistance."

The embassy has been unable to contact Mr Al Muqbali on his mobile phone.

"We tried our best to reach him," the ambassador said.

"We know him because he came to the embassy a few days ago to renew his passport."

Initial reports by police on Wednesday said two Emiratis were involved in the crash.

But yesterday, Chief Supt Agrimero Cruz Jr, a spokesman for the Philippine National Police, said one man in the plane was from the UAE and one was from India. An incident report released yesterday said the Indian, Ragavanandam Karunakaran, 22, who was also injured, was a student pilot flying with Mr Al Muqbali.

Their Cessna crashed and flipped in a rice field at Villa Lorenzo, Baranggay Penabatan, in Pulilan town of Bulacan province.

The aircraft is owned by AMA Delta Flying School in Plaridel, Bulacan.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is investigating to determine the cause of the accident, the incident report said.

rruiz@thenational.ae