LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Three people were killed and 9 others were seriously injured when a Manila-bound train rammed into a fully loaded van in a railway crossing in Candelaria, Quezon early morning Thursday, an official of Quezon rescuers group said.
Henry Buzar, coordinator or provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, identified the fatalities from the ill-fated van as Quesea Nicole Bolos, 5; Paula Oliquiano Carasig, 17; and Nancy Oliquiano, who were all declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The rest of the van passengers who were all seriously injured were rushed to two hospitals in Candelaria, Buzar said.
Supt. Arsenio Bantayan, Candelaria police chief, said that at around 4:30 a.m. a white-colored Toyota Innova (ZDH-485) traveling towards Lucena collided with a passing locomotive in a Philippine National Railways crossing at the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Masin.
Quoting witnesses at the accident site, Bantayan said the van was running fast and tried to cross the railway tracks ahead of the approaching train.
The train hit the van on its left side and dragged the mangled vehicle for more than 15 meters before coming to a halt. No passengers on the train were hurt.
The train passengers disembarked at the accident site as the train was ordered to return to Lucena station, police said.
Bantayan said policemen, Army soldiers and village watchmen immediately cleared the accident site and return the flow of traffic to normal.