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MANILA, Philippines - The wingless Seneca Piper plane that sank 180 feet to the ocean floor off Masbate City had been lifted to the surface Wednesday night by a team of Navy men and other professional divers, who earlier retrieved the bodies of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and veteran pilot Jessup Bahinting.
But the remains of Bahinting's Nepalese co-pilot, Kshitiz Chand, 22, was not inside the wreckage, according to Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II. [See related story: Young pilot with Robredo on ill-fated plane wanted to serve Nepal by joining its army]
The plane, with body number RP-34431, crashed off the city's Barangay Ibingay 800 meters from the shore on Saturday, August 18, due to engine problem.
Bahinting's remains were recovered earlier in the day, while Robredo's body was retrieved on Tuesday. Robredo's aide, Police Senior Supt. June Paolo Abrazado survived the crash.