BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – At least fourteen people, including two foreigners, died on the spot and 32 others were injured as a bus fell 500 meters down a ravine in Bontoc, Mountain Province, on Friday, February 7.
At around 7:20 am, a Florida bus with plate number TXT 872 fell into the ravine, located in Sitio Ab-ab in Barangay Bayyo in Bontoc. It was carrying 47 people.
Eight of the 14 dead were identified in a report from the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Regional Office of Civil Defense:
- Marcial Baranda, Jr
- Natividad Ngawa
- Gerard D. Baja
- Arvin Jimenez, also known as comedian “Tado”
- Andrew Sicam
- Ana Cruz Alaba
- Ana Van-Deven
- Alex Laring
Van-Deven was identified as a Dutch national by local police chief Senior Superintendent Oliver Enmodias. Laring, meanwhile, is a Canadian national.
Injured passengers, including a Dutch woman and the driver of the bus, were taken to different hospitals nearby.
The bus came from the Sampaloc terminal in Manila. Most of the passengers on the bus were tourists, while some were going to attend a women’s Christian conference in Bontoc.
Local police spokesman Superintendent Davy Vicente Limmong said they believe the accident was caused by loose brakes or human error, as there was no traffic and the weather was clear.
Buses are the backbone of land transport in the Philippines, but many of them are poorly-maintained and have been involved in frequent accidents, leading to calls for tighter regulations. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of the story, we reported that the accident happened in Sitio Pagang in Barangay Talubin, based on police reports. We have since updated the story to say the accident happened in Sitio Ab-ab in Barangay Bayyo, based on the Provincial DRRMC’s report.