An overcapacity bus carrying 60 passengers fell into a 100-foot ravine in the Philippines. The crash killed at least 24, with the death toll potentially rising.
The bus was headed into the mountains near Carranglan, a town in Nueva Ecija province, at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday when it crashed. Police say it dropped around 80 ft.
“The road is really risky. There are many ravines,” said Carranglan mayor Mary Abad.
Rescuers used ropes to reach the injured among the wreckage.
Reports that 22 people had been injured with 24 dead rose to reports of at least 28 injured and 29 dead.
Dr. Arlene Jara, head of a local hospital, confirms children were among those injured. Public Employment Services Office manager Porfirio Yasay Jr. of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya said there were about 15 children, ages 15-19, on the bus and a 1-year-old child are among those that were killed.
Some reports indicate that the bus driver remains unidentified and is believed to have jumped from the bus. It is unknown whether he survived. Deceased victims are being identified by their relatives.
The bus, with a max capacity of 45, is believed to have experience a problem with its brakes. Carranglan police chief Robert de Guzman said the vehicle is “totally wrecked,” the top of it having been ripped off the frame. He said most passengers were found out of the bus.
The crash is being described as one of the worst vehicular accidents in recent years to occur in the country, although poorly maintained buses, inadequate road safety measures and local transport laws that are not adequately enforced have lead to other fatalities.
In February, a bus carrying college students on a camping trip also suffered from brake problems. It crashed into an electrical post on a steep downhill road, killing 15.
Raw footage of the rescue efforts:
H/T: Sky News
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