A mayor running for provincial board member of Northern Samar, two of his running mates, and a civilian pilot were injured when the helicopter they were riding crash-landed at the shore of Laoang town Tuesday morning, police said.

Andre Abalon, incumbent mayor of San Roque, suffered “severe head injuries” and was brought to the Catarman Doctors’ Hospital, PO3 Michael Irinco, desk officer at the Laoang Police Station, said in a phone interview.

Dioscoro Asinas and Panoy Pinca, Abalon’s fellow candidates for provincial board member in Northern Samar’s second district, were brought to the same hospital along with pilot Capt. Dino Garcia due “minor injuries,” Irinco said.

The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. while the helicopter piloted by Garcia was flying over in Brgy. Rawis.

The helicopter, allegedly rented by re-electionist 2nd District Rep. Emil Ong, crash landed due to “possible engine failure,” Irinco said, citing initial investigation results.

Ong is seeking re-election under the National Unity Party, where Abalon, Asinas, and Pinca are also listed, according to the Commission on Elections’ list of candidates. (John Roson)

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