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CEBU, Philippines – At least 17 people have died in a bus accident that happened in Hamtic town in Antique province on Tuesday, December 5.
This death toll was revised from an earlier figure of 25 dead. Governor Rhodora Cadiao clarified in an online livestream of Radyo 630 that the official count of victims as of December 6 is 28 while the number of fatalities stood at 17.
“13 died on the spot while 3 died at the emergency hospital and one expired in Iloilo,” Cadiao said.
According to officials, more than 50 passengers were onboard bus No. 6289 from Iloilo City to Culasi town in Antique when the vehicle’s brake system allegedly malfunctioned at around 4:30 pm, causing the bus to fall into a ravine.
At around 9 pm on Tuesday, the provincial government of Antique confirmed that 3 out of 13 passengers were declared dead after being brought to the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
“For the families, it’s not right for me to say ‘don’t worry’. But we’d like to assure you that whatever hospitalization, medicines, and what they need we will take care of that. Di kamo magkabalaka (Do not worry),” Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said in a statement.
The provincial government also vowed to extend funeral assistance to the bereaved families.
Vallacar Transit Incorporated (VTI), the owner of the bus, said in a press statement that it has reported the incident to the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
In coordination with the LTFRB Western Visayas, the operations of the company’s 12 remaining vehicle units under the franchise involved in the case were suspended pending investigation.
“VTI will be providing financial assistance to the passengers and their families, as well as shouldering the medical and burial expenses,” the company said.
According to the company, their personnel, including administrators, maintenance managers, and nurses from its western and eastern branches were immediately dispatched to the location of the incident to assist the victims.
“The management has assigned personnel to be on stand-by at the hospital for further updates and assistance,” the company added. – Rappler.com