DOMINICAN Bishop Jose Salazar, a former parish priest of the Santissimo Rosario parish is now in stable condition after surviving a plane crash last Nov. 12, his attending physician said.

The Batanes bishop, who was parish priest of the UST chapel, from 1993-1996, was rescued by local fishermen and rushed to the UST Hospital for treatment. Salazar was aboard the ill-fated 44-seater Fokker–27 commuter airplane of Laoag International Airline bound for Laoag City. The plane had just taken off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when it crashed. The Air Transportation Office is still investigating the cause of the crash.

According to Dr. Ivan N. Villespin, Bishop Salazar suffered near drowning and developed pulmonary edema (swelling of the lungs). He is currently being treated for pneumonia.

“For such magnitude of injury the patient is very conscious. In Manila Bay, you will not die of drowning but of pollution, that’s why I am also treating him for pneumonia,” Villespin said.

However, the bishop’s condition is still under watch because he is at risk for developing an acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Villespin said that he wonders at how the bishop pulled through.

“His spirits are very high, his vital signs are stable, but he is still on mechanical ventilation and is being watched closely,” Villespin said.

The Varsitarian tried to get Bishop Salazar’s side but Villespin did not grant an interview because the patient is still recuperating.

The other survivors, including the plane’s pilot Bernie Crisostomo, were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. LIA has promised to extend financial assistance to the victims families.

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