Twenty people were killed and 14 others injured when their truck fell into a ravine in T’boli, South Cotabato, Tuesday morning.
All of the victims were from the beach and on their way home, including 11 minors.
Responders rushed the injured passengers to Surallah’s Upper Valley Community Hospital and South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City, said Minda Morante, director of the Office of Civil Defense-12.
According to Lt. Col. Lino Capellan, spokesman for Central Mindanao regional police, the Forward truck (WNN-2017) fell in the mountainous part of Brgy. Lamsalome, around 10 o’clock.
Fourteen of those aboard the truck were dead on the spot, he said.
According to Msgt. Norman Caling, of T’boli Police, Robel Rabara, 41, of Brgy. Kematu, T’boli, was driving the truck from General Santos City to Surallah when the truck fell into ravine
“Galing sila ng Gensan, naligo sa dagat, likely sa Tropicana. Noong pauwi na sila ng Surallah, dito sila dumaan sa T’boli,” said Caling.
(They came from Gensan, swimming in the sea, likely in Tropicana. When they returned home to Surallah, they passed through T’boli.)
The truck’s brakes malfunctioned as it passed through steep, narrow roads, he said.
It was estimated that the truck fell 60 to 80 feet high before it stopped at the bamboos.
Of the 11 minors in the truck, five were killed, and six were injured, Caling said.
Rabara and ten others were taken to the Provincial Hospital while three patients were allowed to return home after being treated in Surallah, he said.
“Our PRC team is in close coordination with the T’boli PNP and PDRRMO in the SAR. We have also deployed manpower, ambulance, and a service vehicle on the crash site,” the Philippine Red Cross tweeted.