Wreckage of Philippine plane crash found, all feared dead

CLAVERIA, Philippines (AP) — Dense vegetation, steep slopes and strong winds kept rescuers from reaching fragments of a crashed DC-9 airplane spotted on a Philippine mountain Tuesday. There was no sign of the 104 people aboard.
Helicopters were unable to land near the remote site on Mount Sumagaya because of the weather and rough incline. On the ground, searchers hampered by darkness and thick forest gave up for the night.
The twin-engine Cebu Pacific Air plane went down 28 miles northeast of its destination, Cagayan de Oro, a southern Philippine city on the island of Mindanao. The plane had been missing since it failed to land Monday.
Helicopter pilots planned to drop smoke bombs today to guide rescuers to the site, said Col. Jacinto Ligot, commander of the rescue effort.
An army detachment and a local religious group reported hearing an explosion near the 7,260-foot mountain.
Parts of the aircraft apparently skidded hundreds of feet down the ridge into thick trees below.
Cebu Pacific initially quoted a mayor in the area as saying villagers had rescued 15 people, but the mayor later retracted that claim.
The plane carried 99 passengers, including five children, and five crew members when it disappeared. The passengers were said to include one Japanese, one Austrian and a Swiss.
The plane’s last radio contact was with the Cagayan de Oro airport tower 15 minutes before it was due to land. In that call, the pilot said he was 42 miles from the airport and was starting to descend. There was no indication that the plane was in trouble.
The airline had no previous accidents.