Six people were killed after a van flipped over on an elevated portion of the North Luzon Expressway in Apalit, Pampanga.
At least 10 others were injured in the incident which took place on the northbound side of the NLEX — which runs between Manila and Angeles City — at about noon today (Saturday, March 23).
Apalit police chief Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Decena said they were still working to verify the names of those killed.
The Public Commuters and Motorists Alliance said that one of the Hyundai H100 van’s tyres blew out, causing the vehicle to flip and roll over.
Lt. Col. Decena said nine of the 15 passengers were thrown from the overpass into a residential area below.
The accident caused heavy tailbacks on the northbound lane area of the highway.
Alberto Suansing of the expressway’s Toll Regulatory Board said that authorities were yet to determine why the left-rear tyre blew up. The possibility that the van was speeding has not been discounted.
He added that the passengers who were injured are still being treated at hospital. He said that one of them was in a “critical condition”.
The stretch of the expressway where the area where the accident occurred has now reopened for motorists after authorities cleared the wrecked vehicle and other debris.
Death toll on the roads
In April last year, we reported that the Philippine delegation to the UN General Assembly admitted that the country was having a “hard time” cutting the “unacceptably high” death toll on its roads.
Speaking in New York, Cesar Sarmiento, chairman of the House transportation committee, said the country was struggling to meet the global target of cutting road crash fatalities by half in 2020.
He added that despite ongoing efforts to promote road safety, “the number of road traffic crashes globally remains unacceptably high”. In the case of the Philippines, he said, “we are also having a hard time meeting the target”.
“As of the end of 2016, road crashes kill an average of 31 people a day and is a major cause of death for our youth. This figure shows a 40 per cent increase in the number of deaths compared to 2006,” he said.
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