Philippine authorities are set to launch a search mission close to the crater of an active volcano after the suspected wreckage of a small plane with four people on board was spotted over the weekend. The plane, a Cessna 340, had two Filipino pilots and two Australians, who were working as consultants for Energy Development Corp., a geothermal power company. The company has deployed teams backed by helicopters and drones to aid in the search. Mayor Carlos Baldo of Albay’s Camalig town stated that the suspected wreckage, including the tail, was seen about 350 meters from the crater on the southwestern slope of Mayon Volcano, but there was no sign of people. The ground search was hindered by rainy weather over the weekend. About 60 search and rescue personnel may scale the 2,462-meter Mayon when the weather clears, but they will require assistance from volcano experts and local officials due to the restiveness of the volcano. Villagers are normally not allowed to enter a permanent danger zone of 6 kilometers around the volcano. A chopper could drop the rescuers nearer to the suspected crash site. A search for a Cessna plane that went missing on January 24 with six people on board in the northern Philippine province of Isabela is still ongoing.
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