CAMP VICENTE LIM, Calamba City — Thirteen students and a bus driver died while scores were injured when a tourist bus loaded with 59 people bound for an educational tour cum field trip smashed into an electrical post in Sitio Bayukan, Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal on Monday.
In a report reaching the Calabarzon Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here, OCD4A Regional Director and RDRRMC Chair Olivia M. Luces disclosed that the incident occurred around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday as the Harana tourist bus of the Panda Coach Tours Company’s tourist bus was on its way to Sacramento Adventure Camp in Tanay.
The 59 passengers on board comprised students and teaching staff from Bestlink College of the Philippines in Novaliches, Quezon City plus the bus crew.
According to the OCD-RDRRMC, the bus was travelling along the road in Sitio Bayukan when the its brakes failed, prompting the driver to slam the vehicle into an electric post, plowing three other posts and smashed into the DPWH road barriers near the Peligrino Farms.
The report as of 3 p.m. Tuesday verified by the DILG confirmed 14 fatalities. Ten (10) died on the spot; three died on arrival at the Rizal Provincial Hospital System (RPHS)-Morong; and one expired at the Camp Capinpin Army Hospital.
Bus driver Julian Lacorda died on arrival at the Rizal Provincial Hospital System-Morong (RPHS-Morong).
Twenty one (21) injured victims were also brought to the RPHS-Morong; 19 are now confined at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and two victims were brought to the Philippine Orthopedic Center.
There are some victims who need to be transferred to more equipped hospitals for treatment due to severe body injuries when they were rescued from the totally wrecked bus.
Local DRMMO teams from Rizal province, Tanay, Angono, Morong, Binangonan, Antipolo City, personnel from 80th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, Philippine Red Cross, Meralco and the Tanay Mountaineers facilitated the rescue operation, first-aid and immediate transport of the victims to the nearby hospitals.
As of press time, the OCD-RDRRMC Regional Office still continues to coordinate with the local DRRMOs and concerned RDRRMC member agencies especially on updates on the list of students, hospitals and their coordination with school authorities and parents of the victims. PNA-northboundasia.com