19 dead, 22 hurt as truck falls into ravine in Apayao

BAGUIO CITY — At least 19 people died and 22 others were seriously injured when a truck fell into a 20-meter deep ravine in Conner, Apayao Thursday night.

Police Capt. Manuel Canipas Jr., chief of Conner town, said initial investigation showed that the truck driven by a certain Merlito Gannaban came from Rizal, Cagayan to get rice planting materials provided by the government.

The report said the truck was on its way to Conner town at around 5:50 p.m. but upon reaching the ascending portion of the road in Barangay Karikitan, the engine suddenly stopped and the brake failed to function, causing it to slide backward and fell into a ravine.

Canipas suspected that the road crash was due to overloading — 44 people on board, aside from the sacks of rice planting materials.

Eleven of the wounded passengers were taken to Conner district hospital while 11 others were brought to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center.

Three only sustained minor injuries, the report said.

Police identified the dead passengers — 18 were residents of Barangay Lattut, Rizal, Cagayan and one from Apayao as:

Pamittan, Margie  
Aberion, Amparo 
Talay, Brenda 
Talay, Imelda
Dajucon, Pacita 
Gundan, Mercy
Patay, Leticia Bayaua 
Milo, Susana  
Molina, Rosemarie 
Dacuycuy, Hermilina  
Molina, Ludalina 
Batallones, Aida  
Asperela, Domingo  
Milo, Mamerto  
Sabatan, Conrado  
Mamauag, Claro  
Talay, Jason
Pagtama, Rudy  
Sosa, Reymundo 

Police Regional Office Cordillera information officer Maj. Carolina Lacuata said 43 of the passengers were all from Barangay Lattut, while Batallones is a Sangguniang Kabataan chairman of Barangay Allangigan in Conner. 

Lacuata said the 43 went to the town hall of Rizal in Barangay Gaggabutan. They were on their way back to the village in Lattut when the accident happened.

Lacuata said the route taken via Conner is the shortest distance going to Barangay Lattut.

Authorities are doing a follow-up investigation.   Dionisio Dennis, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com