FATAL RIDE. A Ceres bus falls into the 30-meter ravine of Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic, Antique Friday evening (April 5, 2019). The bus fell on top of the remnants of other ill-fated vehicles in the accident-prone area, police said. (Photo courtesy of RMN Iloilo)
ILOILO CITY -- Three passengers died while seven others were injured after a Ceres bus fell into a 30-meter ravine in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic in Antique province on Friday evening.
The bus, with plate number FHS 949 and body number 6228, was on its way to Antique from Iloilo when it overshot the railing along the curve in Barangay Igbucagay and fell into the ravine at about 9:45 p.m., chief of the Hamtic municipal police, Major Adolfo Pagharion, said in an interview on Saturday.
“During our interview with the driver last night, he said that there was a loose break, referring to mechanical failure. On the part of the survivors and some witnesses who responded to the area, they claimed that the Ceres bus was running very fast,” Pangharion said.
He identified the fatalities as Evangeline C. Chicano, 45, of Barangay Guinbangaan, San Jose; Vivien Omaño, 45, and her son, Earl Aaron Omaño, 20, of Barangay Borocboroc, Belison.
Pagharion said they have requested an autopsy of the dead victims as they “contemplate on filing complaints of three counts of reckless imprudence resulting (in) homicide and five counts of reckless imprudence resulting (in) serious physical injuries.”
Meanwhile, based on police records, the wounded survivors were identified as Jeannine Eve C. Chicano, 26, of Barangay Guinbangaan; John Lawrenz E. Sanchez, 18, and Loriemae E. Onera, 19, both from Barangay Lapaz Tubog, Hamtic; Edwin V. Omaño, 48, and Hanz Gabriel Omaño, 16, of Barangay Borocboroc; bus driver Ramon Abellar, 45, of Tibiao town; and bus conductor Ervic D. Nepomuceno, 35, of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Pandan. They are currently confined at the Angel Salazar Memorial Hospital in San Jose, Antique.
Pagharion said the incident was the first they have recorded in the area this year. Last year, three accidents occurred in the same place.
He estimated that 30 lives have already been lost to accidents in the place.
The Ceres bus fell on top of the remnants of other ill-fated vehicles in the ravine, Pagharion added.
Meanwhile, Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Broderick Train, in a phone interview, said it took responders almost an hour to retrieve the casualties.
Among those that immediately responded were the local disaster risk reduction and management councils of Belison, Tobias Fornier, San Jose, Sibalom, and Hamtic towns.
Train said that the incident happened in an accident-prone area about 16 km. away from Hamtic.
“I had been asking that there should be additional signage to be put up to alarm the drivers but until now there has been none,” Train said.
He recalled that last December, a truck also fell off the ravine, injuring the driver and killing his assistant. (PNA)