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CAMARINES SUR, Philippines (UPDATED) – A bride-to-be and 12 others were killed after a dump truck they were riding crashed into a tree in Barangay Tagpocol, San Fernando, following the traditional pre-wedding ceremony called pamamanhikan.
The accident on Friday, June 7, also injured 25 others.
The bride-to-be perished along with 12 relatives and friends of the groom on their way back to San Joaquin, hometown of the groom’s family, said Mayor Fermin Mabulo.
Patrolman Nestor Adriatico of San Fernando said that the victims came from pamamanhikan, and were on their way home to San Joaquin when the truck they were riding crashed into a tree and rolled over the road downhill.
The pamamanhikan is a Filipino tradition where a man and his family visit the home of a woman to formally ask for her hand in marriage.
Police said the truck carrying at least 40 passengers was traveling the “mountainous and downhill” roads of Barangay Tagpocol, San Fernando, when the accident occurred at around 5:20 pm.
San Fernando Mayor Fermin Mabulo said the local government will provide aid for the families of the dead and those injured. (IN NUMBERS: Road crash incidents in the Philippines)
“We will shoulder the burial and hospitalization,” Mabulo said in a text message to Rappler.
Road accidents are common in the Philippines, where inadequately maintained buses and poorly trained drivers form the backbone of land transport options.
A lawmaker has criticized the nation’s regulators over unsafe vehicles, saying they allowed “rolling coffins” to ply the roads. – with reports from Rambo Talabong and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com