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14 dead as jeep falls into ravine




LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Fourteen persons were killed when the brakes of an overloaded passenger jeepney failed while cruising a winding road, sending it down a ravine in Balbalan, Kalinga Tuesday.

Chief Supt. Rolando Nana, Philippine National Police Cordillera Administrative Region chief, said 25 others, including the driver, were injured.

Some of the dead were poor elderly villagers from Barangay Dao-angan in Balbalan returning home after collecting cash dole-outs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development at the Balbalan municipal hall.

Police say 13 passengers were pinned to death while one other died on the way to a hospital after being retrieved from the 80-meter deep ravine.

The fatalities were identified as Victorino Banglagan, 67; Soledad Dammay 70; Eliza Amoga,70; Rosario Badong, 65; Isabel Bagni, 67; Agida Palangdao, 62; Lolita Latawan, 68; William Gamongan, 65; Leota Maday,72; Angelina Benito, 62; Benjamin Badong, 68; Terresa Dulansi 70; Annie Baluga, 45; and Martin Canao, 67.

Injured and taken to the Kalinga Western District Hospital were identified as Arnel Banglagan, 45; Anna Bagwingan, 75; Laika Barbosa, 4; Imelda Cuzon, 52; Manuel Banguingan, 70; Caridad Palicas, 72; Jennifer Esteban, 40; Irene Dammay, 60; Pedro Maday, 82; Agida Palangdao, 42; Lolita Gullipis, 77; Mercedez Lingbao, 62;

Joselyn Gannisi, 64; Conchita Canao, 61; Socorro Naganag, 56; Sonia Barbosa, 44; Necita Daggay, 61; Concordia Manadao, 61; Bartolome Balcanao, 85; Patricio Maday, 66; Edmund Duguit, 45; Mariano Palicas, 70; Nanette Gamongan, 61; Leonarda Dumaguing, 69, and Francisco Gumaad Jr., 36, the driver of the passenger jeepney with license plates WRR-535.

Road accidents in the region have been blamed on weak enforcement of traffic rules, poorly maintained public transport, and long-neglected upland roads.

Balbalan is 500 kilometers and 10-hour drive away from Manila. The third class municipality can be reached through the Abra-Kalinga Road from Bangued, Abra or through Tabuk City, Kalinga.