3 provincial bets, pilot hurt in Northern Samar chopper mishap

Mayor Andre Abalon, Decoroso Asinas and Epifanio Pica, candidates for provincial board in Northern Samar, were hurt when the helicopter they were riding to a campaign rally crashed. (Eladio Perfecto, InterAksyon.com)

The online news portal of TV5

CATARMAN, Northern Samar -- Three candidates for the Northern Samar provincial board and their pilot survived the sudden crash of their helicopter as it took off for a political rally Tuesday morning.

Two of the candidates, Epifanio Pinca and Decoroso Asinas, said they and San Roque Mayor Andre Abalon, all of the National Unity Party, had boarded their helicopter in Barangay Rawis in Laoang town at 8 a.m. for the flight to Lapinig, some 50 kilometers from here.

However, just three meters from the ground, the helicopter suddenly dropped to the seashore, just a stone’s throw from where other choppers were stationed.

Pinca suffered a small bruise in his right leg and Asinas hit in his right eye on the pilot’s chair.

Abalon, however, was hit on the head by the helicopter’s blade and had to be transferred from the Catarman Doctors Hospital, where the three candidates were rushed, to Cebu City on an Army chopper for more treatment.

The pilot, whose identity was not immediately available, suffered a minor leg injury and was treated at Laoang District Hospital.