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Tragic Incident: At Least 16 Dead and 12 Injured as Passenger Bus Plunges into Ravine in Central Philippines

 Tragic Incident: At Least 16 Dead and 12 Injured as Passenger Bus Plunges into Ravine in Central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — A heart-wrenching tragedy unfolded when a passenger bus lost control while negotiating a downhill curve in a central Philippine mountain village, plummeting into a deep ravine. This devastating incident has resulted in at least 16 fatalities and 12 individuals sustaining injuries, official sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The bus, which had traveled from the nearby Iloilo province, was navigating the accident-prone mountain road in Hamtic town within the province of Antique when the driver, regrettably among those who lost their lives, reportedly lost control. Subsequently, the air-conditioned bus collided with a concrete railing before hurtling into the ravine, as detailed by provincial officials.

Ronniel Pabustan, an Antique provincial crisis responder, provided distressing accounts conveyed by some of the passengers, indicating that the driver had been repeatedly sounding the horn, presumably indicative of wrestling with control issues before the bus careened off the road.

In the aftermath, a concerted effort unfolded as scores of rescuers, including police, army personnel, and provincial emergency responders, embarked on a profound rescue and retrieval operation. Employing stretchers and ropes, the responders labored tirelessly late into the night to extricate the victims from the wreckage, epitomizing a display of unwavering determination and compassion amid the harrowing circumstances.

The profound tragedy is compounded by its occurrence in close proximity to the forthcoming holiday season, as emphasized by Pabustan. Among the fatalities was an unidentified baby, adding an additional layer of anguish to the already grieving community.

While the search for victims concluded overnight, provincial officials urged village leaders to promptly alert emergency personnel if any additional victims were identified in the accident site, a densely wooded area nestled at the ravine’s base.

Deadly road accidents remain a prevalent concern in the Philippines, encapsulated by weak traffic law enforcement, decrepit vehicles, and hazardous road conditions, including inadequate safety measures along mountain routes and in remote provinces.

The poignant ramifications of this incident emphasize the pressing need for sustained efforts to address the root causes contributing to such tragedies and to fortify safety regulations for all travelers navigating the nation’s thoroughfares.

Mayumi Guelas

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