Philippines Governor Rafael Nantes And 5 Others Killed In Helicopter Crash <


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Philippines Governor Rafael Nantes And 5 Others Killed In Helicopter Crash

By Jim Douglas

May 19, 2010 - On Monday former governor of Quezon, Philippines Rafael Nantes, the pilot, two security aides, and two other civilians were killed about 3:15 PM local time when they were taking off from Quezon National High School in a Robinson R44 helicopter, registration number C2250.

Witnesses say the Robinson R44 began having engine problems just after take-off crashing into two houses in a residential area of Barangay Iyam in Lucena City. An initial investigation shows the helicopter's rotor malfunctioned just after it took off.

Upon ground impact the R44 helicopter burst into flames and at least 10 houses were destroyed. It took tow hours before the firemen were able to put out the fire. Witnesses have also claimed the helicopter exploded suggesting the helicopter was sabotaged.


Rafael "Raffy" Puchero Nantes was the governor of Quezon, Philippines from 2004 to present and he was the national treasurer of the Philippine Liberal Party. Governor Nantes was running for re-election against David Suarez.

Election results have indicated Governor Nantes was trailing frontrunner David Suarez. Anthony Taberna of radio dzMM reported the Governor was suppose to have given him an interview on Tuesday in which the Governor was going to expose an alleged rigging of election results in Quezon province. Assistant Governor Carlos Portes will be acting governor until June 30, 2010.

The pilot was identified as Nestor Sanchez and the governorís two aids were Alfred Dominguez and Randy Roferez. The two civilians killed were residents that were living inside one of the homes the helicopter hit.

On Tuesday the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) grounded all 51 government owned Robinson helicopters which include 33 R44-type helicopters and 18 R22-type helicopters until authorities can identify the cause of Mondayís crash.
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