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11 hurt as bus falls into ravine

By DANNY J. ESTACIO, with report from Alexandria Dennise San Juan

TAGKAWAYAN, Quezon – 11 people on board a passenger bus were injured after the vehicle fell into a ravine along Quirino Highway in Barangay Bagong Silang here, early morning yesterday.

The injured passengers of the ill-fated Golden Dragon AB liner were identified as Rica Antone, Milagros Antone, Lynlyn Oco, Ramon Lord Nerier, Angelo Sto. Domingo, Joselito Sto. Domingo, Salvacion Sto. Domingo, Anaceta Aninion, and Jaymark Aninion.

Elements of the Tagkawayan disaster management office, the local police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the 22nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, took the victims to the nearby Maria Eleazar Memorial District Hospital and the St. Peter General Hospital in Calauag, along with bus conductor Rommel Rosales, and driver Herbert Umali, who were also hurt in the incident.

In the subsequent investigation, it is believed the incident occurred around 1:45 a.m.

Some of the passengers claimed Umali fell asleep resulting in the accident.

The driver, on the other hand, maintained he simply lost control of the vehicle traversing a descending portion of the road.

The incident in Tagkawayan is just the latest in several road mishaps that occurred of late.

On Christmas Eve, four people were killed while 25 were injured when a jeepney fell into a creek in North Cotabato.

On Christmas Day, 20 people, including 5 children, were killed while 26 were injured after a private jeepney collided head-on with a provincial bus in La Union.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has since issued a statement reminding passengers and drivers alike to maintain appropriate speed while on the road.

“In this fast-paced season of holiday shopping, outing and family reunions, the LTFRB would like to address this message, not only to the drivers, but also to the passengers of private or hired vehicles: do not rush your drivers,” said Atty. Aileen Lizada, LTFRB spokesperson.

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