American Among 8 Dead After Plane Carrying Medical Supplies to Fight Coronavirus Crashes in Philippines

A Tokyo-bound plane carrying medical supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic burst into flames as it took off from a Philippines airport Sunday, killing all eight people on board, multiple outlets reported.

One American and one Canadian were among the eight passengers on Lion Air Flight RPC 5880, which was leaving from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, CNN reported.

Senator of the Philippines Richard Gordon, who is also the head of the Philippine Red Cross, said the eight people on board consisted of a flight medic, nurse, doctor, three flight crew, one patient and their companion.

“The airplane caught fire and exploded as it was taking off the NAIA runway 24,” Gordon said on Twitter.

The victims have yet to be publicly identified.

The Philippines Red Cross said on Twitter that a fire truck with seven crew members and two ambulances with seven medical personnel were dispatched to the crash scene.

The Manila International Airport Authority told the New York Times in a statement that the runway had been closed and an investigation into the crash was underway.

The Philippines currently has at least 1,418 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and 71 deaths as of March 29, according to U.S. News.

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