Eight dead as overloaded jeepney plunges in Isabela Province ravine

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overloaded jeepney
The aftermath of the accident in Balagan village, San Mariano, Isabela. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Fire Protection-San Mariano.

Eight people were killed and dozens more injured when an overloaded jeepney plunged into a ravine in San Mariano, Isabela Province.

The deadly accident yesterday (Sunday, June 9) came just one day after a road accident claimed the lives of 13 people in Camarines Sur. 

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As we reported, 53 people had crammed into the back of dump truck that was returning from a pre-wedding ceremony. The bride-to-be and children aged four and five were among the victims. 

Speaking of the more recent tragedy, Carlos Taguba, head of the San Mariano Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the jeepney plunged into a ravine about 10 metres deep at 6pm.

He said seven victims — identified as Gina Magusib; John Lloyd Rivera, 14; Marilen Gammad, 57; Inez Tapaoan; Carmelita Zalun, 54; Iring Cleto; and eight-year old John Lloyd Cadiente — all died on the spot.

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The eighth fatality, Rosina Madria, died of her injuries at a hospital in Cauayan City.

Mr Taguba said the driver of the jeepney and 30 other passengers were taken to the Gov. Faustino Dy Sr. Memorial Hospital for treatment.

He also described how the vehicle’s brakes malfunctioned while descending a curve. As well as being overloaded with passengers, the vehicle was also carrying sacks of cement and animal feed.

Police Lieutenant Jess Alonzo, San Mariano deputy police chief, gave a slightly different version of events, saying that the jeepney driver Geoffrey Cajigal was among the victims, and that the accident happened at about 4pm. 

He also said that the overloaded jeepney had a maximum capacity of 15 people, but was carrying about 40 passengers.

Also yesterday, a four-way smash in Casiguran, Sorsogon, claimed the lives of two motorcycle riders and left three others injured.

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