At least 26 people were killed and at least 20 injured after a bus plunged down a ravine in Nueva Ecija this morning (Tuesday, April 18).
Local police chief Senior Inspector Robert de Guzman confirmed the death toll after a Leomarick Trans bus veered off the road in Capintalan village in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, at about 11am.
He added that 22 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals where two later died of their injuries.
The bus was travelling from Isabela province to Candon City in Ilocos Sur when its brakes failed on a steep winding road.
“When we responded, we just found the bodies lying in the accident area, lifeless,” the police chief told Rappler in Filipino. He added that the bus was a “total wreck” after falling into the 80-foot-deep ravine.
Based on eyewitness reports, he said the bus driver was speeding and had overtaken other vehicles before the catastrophe.
The identity of the victims has not yet been ascertained.
Carranglan Mayor Mary Abad told ABS-CBN television that there were 60 passengers onboard even though the bus had an official capacity of just 45.
“The road is really risky,” she said. “There are many ravines along that road going to Abra.”
Dr Arlene Jara, chief of the nearby provincial hospital treating the wounded, said children were among those injured.
The Malacañang has conveyed its condolences to the families of the victims. Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “We guarantee that the culprits behind the fatal bus mishap will be held accountable.”