Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10 OFWs Died in Helicopter Crash

MANILA, Philippines—The employer of Filipino workers in Afghanistan has informed the Philippine government about the deaths of 10 Filipinos in a helicopter crash last Sunday, Vice President Noli De Castro and the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

The 10 Filipino workers were among the 16 people killed when a Russian helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff at southern Afghanistan's largest NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) base Sunday.

Their employer, a US-based construction firm, confirmed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that the Filipino workers were onboard the aircraft which malfunctioned during takeoff and plunged to the ground.

The helicopter was reported to be carrying three crew members and 17 passengers of varying nationalities. Sixteen of the passengers, including the Filipinos, were killed in the crash.

A company official said the families and relatives of the Filipino victims are currently being contacted while the repatriation of the remains is being arranged.

The company is also working on the processing of the Filipino workers’ insurance and other benefits.

The DFA has dispatched a team from the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad to coordinate with local authorities for the repatriation.

The Philippine Government has a long-standing ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Afghanistan due to security concerns.

The DFA extends its deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the 10 Filipino workers who died in the crash

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