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Philippines Plane Hits School, Killing 13

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A small plane has crashed into a school in the Philippines, killing at least 13 people, including two children.

Mayor Florencio Bernabe, of the city of Paranaque, said no classes were under way when the plane crash-landed shortly after takeoff from an airport in Manila.

Firefighters said the dead included the pilot and the co-pilot - the only two people on the plane.

Police Senior Inspector Dennis Sirilan said he saw the aircraft "twirling" in the air before plunging into the F Serrano Elementary School.

He added that a fire then spread rapidly to nearby shanties surrounding the school.

Firefighters were hampered in reaching the scene by narrow streets and the area was still smouldering three hours after the fire was brought under control.

Philippines Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said the dead included a baby and a child.

She said at least 10 people were brought to a hospital, including five with major burns.

Civil Aviation Authority chief Ramon Gutierrez said the six-to-eight-seat Beechcraft Queen Air plane sent out a distress call shortly after taking off from Manila for Mindoro Island.

Points to consider:

The small plane crashed shortly after taking off from Manila and burned, its highly flammable aviation fuel sparking a fire that set the three-story school ablaze and destroyed dozens of homes. In the wake of this tragic incident, it is important to understand that although aviation accidents are at one of their lowest levels ever, accidents do happen and can have a profound effect on first a responders operation. Prior to commencing operations, size-up is crucial in evaluating hazards, tactics, and available resources. Furthermore, consider that aviation related incidents require specialized procedures, which necessitates responders to undergo specific training to prepare for the unique hazards that may be encountered at these incidents incident. Aviation fuel in particular presents an extreme fire hazard, quickly evaporating, even at low temperatures, forming an explosive vapor (fumes), which can catch fire and burn with explosive violence.

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Guest Friday, 24 November 2017