CEBU CITY, Philippines — More than 20 persons, including children and teenagers, were wounded when a village-owned mini bus fell 20 feet down a ravine in Barangay (village) Quiot, Cebu City Wednesday morning, the authorities said.
Most victims suffered bruises and wounds in the arms and legs and were brought to the city-owned Cebu City Medical Center on Natalio Bacalso Avenue.
At least 40 persons composed of children, teenagers, Sangguniang Kabataan officials, teachers and parents were on their way to a retreat house in San Carlos Heights located in a mountain village of Quiot about 9 a.m. Wednesday when the incident occurred.
The group was to attend a whole-day seminar, dubbed Barangay Council for the Protection of Children, organized by the Basak Pardo SK.
Bus driver Christiano Palabrica, who was with his wife Imedia and two children, said what happened was an accident.
He said he was maneuvering the mini bus, owned by Barangay Basak-Pardo, uphill to San Carlos Heights when he lost control of the vehicle.
He said the mini bus had suddenly lost power and started to move downhill. He tried to move the steering wheel but it was stuck. He also tried stepping on the brakes but didn’t work.
The bus first rammed into a concrete barrier before falling into the ravine, said Joy Tumulak, Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom) executive officer.
He said many of the victims were children and teenagers aged seven to 17 and were all in stable condition at the CCMC.
Tumulak said witnesses accounts agreed with the driver’s claim that the engine of the vehicle malfunctioned before it fell off the road. (With a report from Chito O. Aragon, Inquirer Visayas)
Bus falls into ravine in Cebu City