Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

17 killed in Philippines bus plunge

People gather at the scene where a passenger bus plunged from an elevated highway known as the Skyway in suburban Paranaque, southeast of Manila (AP)
People gather at the scene where a passenger bus plunged from an elevated highway known as the Skyway in suburban Paranaque, southeast of Manila (AP)
People gather at the scene where a passenger bus plunged from an elevated highway known as the Skyway (AP)

At least 17 people were killed and 16 others injured when a passenger bus plunged off a wet, elevated highway in suburban Manila and fell on to a van passing below, officials in the Philippines said today.

The reports from police, hospital and mortuary staff revised higher tolls.

TV footage showed a number of bodies strewn around the bus wreckage with police officers nearby. The van was an unrecognisable pile of twisted white metal.

The bus veered off the Skyway, as the elevated road is called, and crashed on to the van 32ft (9.6m) below in suburban Paranaque city at dawn, said police Superintendent Elizabeth Velasquez.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear but the road was wet from rain, said Ivy Vidal, a spokeswoman from Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp.

Irene Sisperes, a motorist who witnessed the accident, said she was driving with her daughter at 50mph (80kph) when the bus overtook her car. She estimated that the bus was travelling at 62mph-68mph (100kph-110kph).

She said it was still dark and it was raining when the accident happened.

"After a few meters, I saw the bus fall and I shouted 'The bus fell, the bus fell'," she told DZMM radio, adding that there were no other cars nearby.

Ms Sisperes said she saw the damaged railing of the highway and some debris and reported the incident at the toll gate.

Supt Velasquez earlier reported that 21 people had been killed and 20 others injured but later said there appeared to have been double counting amid the confusion. She said she was verifying reports that 17 died and several others were injured.

Angelo Dequina, an employee of a funeral parlour, said 17 bodies from the accident had been taken to their mortuary from hospitals and from the crash site.

At least 16 people injured in the accident were admitted to five hospitals.

Supt Velasquez earlier said the van's driver was killed and the bus driver was in a serious condition in hospital. But Dr Carmencita Solidum, medical director of the Paranaque Doctors' Hospital, said the two drivers were among the 10 injured who were at her hospital.

The bus driver was critically injured but the van driver had only minor injuries, she added.

Ryan Bresa, a passenger who survived, said the bus may have been travelling too fast and the driver to tried control the vehicle's swerving before it plunged off the carriageway.

Winston Ginez, chairman of the government's Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board, said all the 78 buses of Don Mariano Transit Corp have been taken out of service for 30 days.

Two years ago a bus from another company also fell from the Skyway near the same area, leaving three people dead and four others injured.

AP

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz