The Commonwealth Health Center activated yesterday its Code D (Disaster) to provide patient care to the victims after receiving information about the plane crash on Tinian, according to director for emergency and preparedness program Warren Villagomez.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune, Villagomez said under Code D, physicians and nurses are tasked to provide “extra and ample care” for victims that are taken to the emergency room.
Villagomez said that four victims were taken to the emergency room but that he can’t confirm their injuries as the case is still under investigation.
Villagomez said the victims were airlifted from Tinian and that the first two arrived at CHC at 12:43pm.
At 1pm, Saipan Tribune saw several nurses wearing protective gear at CHC’s emergency room where the survivors were taken—two women, one man, and one female child.
American Red Cross executive director John Hirsh was also seen outside the emergency room.
Hirsh said that whenever there is any sort of disaster in the community, whether it is a single family fire or earthquake or aviation incident, they work very closely with CNMI Homeland Security Emergency Management and their partners at the hospital.
“We provide assistance to the first responders. We also provide assistance to any incident that involves aviation. We work closely with the families,” he said.
With the enactment of the Family Assistance Act, Hirsh said, they provide mental health support and interpreters, among others.
Meanwhile, an August 2006 crash involving a Piper Cherokee aircraft in Upper Dandan, Saipan, where all seven occupants, including the pilot, sustained serious injuries but survived, ended up in separate lawsuits.
The plane crashed in a farm, bursting into flames in Upper Dandan while en route to Tinian. The plane was completely destroyed. Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino was reportedly leasing the plane at the time.
In 2011, Tinian Dynasty settled the lawsuits filed by at least four passengers, three of them Japanese nationals.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Bureau investigated the matter, but no information was released as to the cause of the crash.