The bus came from a high point and was coming down when it lost its brakes. The left side was a total wreck. The fatalities were hit by steel, that was the immediate cause of their death. The students who were hurt the most were the ones who were pushed at the back on the left side of the bus - Carlos Inofre, chief of Tanay's MDRRMC
MANILA, Philippines - Fourteen students died, while over 20 others were hurt after a tourist bus lost its brakes and rammed into an electric post in Sitio Bayucan, Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.
Ten of the fatalities -- four female and six male students -- died on the spot. The mishap took place in a blind curve on Magnetic Hill near Pelegrino Farm at around 8:40 a.m., Monday, according to Engineer Carlos Inofre, chief of Tanay's Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).
"Pababa ito, galing sa Marcos Highway mataas, pababa ang bus, nawalan ng preno...Left side totally wreck, immediate cause of death, tinamaan sila ng mga bakal...Parang napunta lahat sila sa likod, left side, 'yon po 'yong napuruhan na mga estudyante," said Inofre in an interview.
[The bus came from a high point and was coming down when it lost its brakes. The left side was a total wreck. The fatalities were hit by steel, that was the immediate cause of their death. The students who were hurt the most were the ones who were pushed at the back on the left side of the bus.]
Another four died while they were being treated at the hospital, said MDRRMO training officer and admnistrative assistant Bong Bati.
The survivors said that they had smelled of burning rubber immediately before the accident. A female survivor said her body banged on the window while her seatmate's body flew outside the bus after the vehicle rammed into the post before hitting a mountainous area near the road.
Around 50 passengers -- all students from Bestlink College of the Philippines in Novaliches, Quezon City -- were on their way to a resort in Rizal for a camping activity.
Inofre said students seating on the left side of the blue bus with plate number TXS 325 were the ones fatally hurt after the said portion was wrecked in the mishap. The vehicle is owned by Panda Coach Tours and Transport Inc.
The bus driver and the other victims were rushed to different hospitals.
Bati said 13 of the victims were rushed to Camp Capinpin Hospital in Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal; 17 at the Rizal Provincial Hospital in Morong, Rizal; six at the Tanay General Hospital; and one at the Tanay Community Hospital.
Bati said the survivors, who were seriously injured in the mishap, would be transferred to the Amang Rodriguez Hospital in Marikina City. He said the families of the victims could contact the following numbers -- 0947-9469490 and (02) 654-1002.
At past 12 noon, Bati said 16 victims had already been transferred to the Amang Rodriguez Hospital.
In an interview on Monday morning, Panda Coach Tours representative Johna Martires said the company had already coordinated with an insurance firm to cater to the needs of the victims.
She said the driver, 37-year-old Juliane Lacordia, began working for Panda Tours three months ago and that he had not yet submitted results of his drug test since he was hired.