Death, plane mishap, storm mar Pope visit in central Philippines
Share this on

Death, plane mishap, storm mar Pope visit in central Philippines

Authorities said a volunteer of the Catholic Relief Service was waiting for the Pope when a metal scaffolding supporting a speaker tower collapsed and hit her.

The victim’s identity, who is reportedly from Manila, was not immediately made available pending notification of her family.

After almost clockwork precision during his arrival and the first full day of official visit, bad weather and accidents attended the third day of his well-anticipated and well-attended trip.

His skullcap was again blown away, this time not by the afternoon breeze like his arrival but by strong winds brought by tropical weather disturbance Amang (international name: Mekkhala).

Pope Francis earlier braved Storm Signal No. 2 hoisted by Philippine bureau forecasters and proceeded to Tacloban despite strong winds and intermittent rains.

The pope had to wear a raincoat while officiating the mass. So were the thousands who waited for him and wore the same yellow-colored, organizer-issued plastic raincoats.

But the Philippine Airlines (PAL) pilot who flew the pope to Tacloban advised the papal entourage by noon that they will have to leave not later than 1pm because of the bad weather.

An apologetic Pope Francis had to cut short his luncheon meeting with 30 families of the victims Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the Bohol earthquake to fly back to Manila, more than 4 hours ahead of schedule.

The glitches did not end there.

As soon as the papal plane left Tacloban airport, the private plane bringing several Philippine cabinet secretaries overshot the runaway after an aborted takeoff.

No one was injured but all passengers were visibly shaken.

The pope however arrived in Manila an hour after leaving Tacloban without any further incidents.