Two Australians have been confirmed to have died after their plane crashed into a volcano in the Philippines over the weekend.
Searchers made the grim discovery on Wednesday morning after more than a dozen army troops and firefighters were dropped by helicopter onto the Mayon volcano’s slope, where they then hiked to the site of the wreckage.
Two soldiers also died during the search on Monday, with reports from the Associated Press (AP) suggesting they are believed to have been shot and killed by suspected communist guerillas.
Both Australians, Karthi Santhanam and Simon Chipperfield, were from Adelaide.
The Cessna 340 had the two Australian energy consultants and two Filipino crew members on-board when it went missing on Saturday, according to AP.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed in a press conference held in Fiji on Thursday morning that “there are no survivors” of the crash.
“I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the two men, Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam, both from Adelaide, my home town, as well as the Filipino Nationals involved,” she said.
“I think we all understand that the families of those who we have lost will be grieving, and I express not only our sympathy, our condolences, but to say to them our hearts go out to them in this time of great grief.
“I also wish to acknowledge and express condolences to the families of two soldiers who were killed during the search and rescue.”
Mayor Carlos Baldo of Albay province’s Camalig town reportedly told AP the remains of the passengers would be brought down the volcano on Thursday.