CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela – Two people were confirmed dead after a Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter crashed and exploded in a village this city on Thursday night.

The ill-fated chopper was allegedly carrying five persons the PAF said.

In its initial report, the Isabela Provincial Police Office (IPPO) two bodies were found still strapped on their seats and identified as the pilots of the charred helicopter.

Two crew members are still missing but search and rescue are underway.

Police said another crew member who sustained multiple injuries was recovered and rushed to the nearest hospital.

Bearing tail number 8303, the helicopter was about to take off when it crashed and exploded at the ramp area of the Tactical Operations Group 2 (TOG2) in Barangay San Fermin here.