Truck falls into ravine; 15 killedBy Joey A. Gabieta
TACLOBAN CITY—At least 15 persons were killed on Saturday night when the vehicle they were riding exploded and fell into a ravine in Caibiran town, Biliran.
The victims were on the way to the wake of their aunt in Barangay Victory, Caibiran, about 7 p.m. when the Isuzu elf cargo truck they were riding caught fire and exploded in Barangay Cabibihan.
Nine persons were hurt and were first taken to the Biliran Provincial Hospital before they were transferred to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban, about 100 kilometers away.
The truck driver, Leonilo Rosete, was in a critical condition at the EVRMC.
Caibiran Mayor Eulalio Maderazo told the Inquirer by phone that the 24 persons—all relatives—were residents of upland Barangay Villacaneja of the capital town of Naval, 17 km away from Caibiran.
They all boarded the truck, a usual mode of transportation by people living in the upland, to attend the last night of the wake of their aunt identified only as “Tiyang Rosete” who was to be buried yesterday.
Just 4 km away from their destination, the truck suddenly caught fire and fell into a ravine in Cabibihan, said Mayor Maderazo, quoting police information.
He said he suspected that the vehicle developed mechanical problem, which triggered the fire.
The town’s ambulance was used to bring the fatalities to the hospital and later to their families in Villacaneja.
Among those killed were Juniel Rosete, Junita Rosete, Josephine Rosete, Junalin Rosete, Darwin Rosete and a girl named Marilyn Rosete.
The others were Honoria Regir, Lolita Yagon, Renato Escosis, Julito Yagon, Marianito Areglo, Anthony Jay Montiadora, Lito Cabalquinto, Areglo Jennifer and a still unidentified man.
Confined in the hospital were Alicia Escosis, 56; Eunilo Rosete, 43; Elena Areglo, 56; Jereck Areglo, 13; Cornella Montiadora; Raul Montiadora; Rhea May Escosis, 15; Antonio Rosete, 50 and truck driver Leonilo Rosete.
Flor Jackson of the Philippine Information Agency based in Naval said Naval Mayor Susan Parilla and Rep. Rogelio Espina of Biliran provided financial assistance to the victims and respective families.