A passenger bus carrying more than 50 people fell off a winding road and crashed into a ravine in the northern Philippines, killing at least 28 people and injuring 24 others, police said on Wednesday.
The bus was bound for Culasi town, Antique, from Iloilo City and had 50 passengers onboard. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but the police suspect that overloading and mechanical failure were among the factors. This was not the first time that a bus accident occurred in the area, as it is known to be accident-prone and has claimed many lives in the past.
Police chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula said the bus driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as it negotiated a downhill curve known as “killer curve” because of frequent accidents there.
“The bus fell into a 15-meter-deep ravine and most of the victims died on the spot,” Sapitula told reporters.
He said the injured passengers, some of them in critical condition, were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
He said the bus had a capacity of 45 passengers, but it was carrying 53 people at the time of the crash.
He also said the driver, who was among the fatalities, had taken over from another driver who complained of drowsiness.
“We are looking into the angle of driver’s error, although we are not discounting the possibility of mechanical defect or problems on the road condition,” he said.
Bus accidents are common in the Philippines, where poor road conditions, lax enforcement of safety regulations and aging vehicles are often blamed for the tragedies.