At least 26 dead as Philippine bus plunges into ravine

At least 20 other passengers saved by rescuers in one of the country's deadliest vehicular accidents in years.

    Many road accidents in the Philippines have been blamed on poorly maintained buses, inadequate road-safety features and weak enforcement of local transport laws [Al Jazeera]
    Many road accidents in the Philippines have been blamed on poorly maintained buses, inadequate road-safety features and weak enforcement of local transport laws [Al Jazeera]

    At least 26 people died on Tuesday when their bus plunged into a deep ravine in a northern Philippine mountain town, in one of the country's deadliest road accidents in years, officials said.

    The rest of the more than 50 passengers were retrieved by rescuers who struggled with ropes to descend down the 24-metre-deep ravine to reach the wreckage in Nueva Ecija province's Carranglan town, said disaster-response officer Mark Raymond Cano.

    Many of the passengers had serious injuries and were taken to hospitals, with parents being separated from their children in the confusion, officials said. 

    Philippine's sea trade routes face growing piracy problem

    "One child here sat beside her mother. The mother was dead," said Dr. Napoleon Obana of the Veterans Regional Hospital, where some of the injured were taken.

    TV footage showed a line of rescuers and villagers, some holding on to a rope to climb up on a grassy slope with a victim on a stretcher. A throng of villagers waited in a clearing above them to help pull the victim to safety.

    Cano said a preliminary investigation showed that the bus "lost its brakes and plunged down the ravine".

    The spot along the downhill road beside the ravine is accident-prone. Tuesday's accident was the sixth in the area in recent years, a local village official told DZMM radio.

    The impact from the plunge ripped the bus, which could no longer be distinguished at the bottom of the ravine, said Nueva Ecija's police chief, Antonio Yarra. He said investigators could not yet talk to the still-stunned injured survivors to get more details on the accident

    Carranglan police chief Robert de Guzman said the bus from northern Isabela province was on its way to Ilocos Sur, a tobacco- and rice-growing region also in the mountainous northern Philippines, when it crashed shortly before noon in Nueva Ecija, about 200 kilometres north of Manila.

    Poorly maintained passenger buses, inadequate road safety features and weak enforcement of local transport laws have been blamed for many vehicular accidents in the Philippines.

    In February, a sightseeing bus carrying college students on a camping trip lost its brakes as it sped down a steep downhill road before smashing into a concrete electrical post in Tanay town in Rizal province east of Manila, killing 15 people.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons