17 passengers aboard overloaded jeep hurt in Zamboanga City road mishap
ZAMBOANGA CITY — An overloaded jeepney packed by Lenten pilgrims flipped to its side while traversing a narrow road at a mountainous village in this city on Good Friday, injuring 17 people on board, including two children.
Police Captain Shellamae Chang, spokesperson of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said the jeepney driven by Edgar Gomez Estioca, 47, was going down from Abong-Abong Park in Barangay Pasonanca past 10 p.m. on April 19, when it encountered a mechanical problem, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Chang said the jeepney went downhill on reverse direction before it flipped on its side.
Chang said one of the 17 passengers has been discharged but the rest were still being treated at the Zamboanga City Medical Center, including a three-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy.
She said the passengers were extremely tired from walking when they met on the road and scampered to board Estioca’s vehicle, a blue passenger jeep that could accommodate only 14 people.
The injured were among the more than 10,000 people who would regularly trek to Abong-Abong Park during Lent to participate in the solemn prayers held in each of the 14 stations of the cross and to witness some devotees reenacting in the afternoon on Good Friday the passion and death of Jesus Christ culminating with the nailing on the cross.
Monsignor Crisanto Manongas, the administrator of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, had earlier reminded the faithful that the church considered Abong-Abong Park a tourist spot and not a religious shrine.
He said that Catholics who flocked to Mt. Pulong Bato, where the Abong-abong Park is located, during Lent, especially on Good Friday, may also put to danger some elderly and children because of the narrow path leading to Cruz Mayor, the large cross at the peak of the park.
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