Holy Week death toll reaches 21 in Luzon
A total of 21 people died while nine others remained missing or injured in different vacation accidents in several places in Luzon during the Holy Week as families took advantage of the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The latest fatalities recorded at press time on Saturday were in San Jose, Camarines Sur, where five cousins, three of them minors, drowned while swimming in the sea on Saturday morning, said the town’s police chief, Maj. Rommel San Andres, who added that a teenage girl was still missing.
On Good Friday, nine were reported to have drowned in separate incidents in Camarines Norte, Batangas, and Quezon provinces.
A 15-year-old girl drowned while swimming at a beach resort in Daet, Camarines Norte, the town’s information office said in a belated report on Saturday.
7 drownings in Batangas
In Batangas, police said a certain “Khailyn” was with her family at a religious retreat in San Juan town when she was found floating in the swimming pool around 1:40 p.m.
In the same town later on Good Friday, a certain “Lucas” drowned in the swimming pool of a resort in Barangay Laiya Aplaya.
In Tuy town, the body of a certain “Bobong” was found floating in a deep portion of a river in Barangay Malibu on Friday morning. The police recorded it as a drowning incident. In Calatagan town, a young girl went for a swim with friends in a beach resort in Barangay Bagong Silang when she disappeared. She was later found drowned near the breakwater.
In Lemery town, a teenage boy went for a swim at a resort swimming pool in Barangay Nonong Casto. The victim suddenly sank into the water and died while being taken to the nearest hospital, the report said.
The day before, two picnickers also drowned in separate incidents in Batangas.
In Lucena City, a certain “Charlie” was found dead at the shore of Barangay Talao-Talao at 6 a.m. on Friday after a night of drinking and swimming with friends.
Also on Maundy Thursday, vacationer “Paguio,” 45, died, while seven others were injured after the van they were riding collided with a minibus in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, the police reported.
Bangui police chief Maj. Ramil Llarenas said the victims were from Makati City and Quezon City, and were heading to Pagudpud town when the van skidded off the road and crashed onto an oncoming minibus around 7 a.m.
In the Cagayan Valley region, six people also drowned while one remained missing in separate Holy Week incidents.
Six in Cagayan Valley
In San Mateo, Isabela, an unidentified woman’s body was found at San Roque Village along the Magat River on Saturday morning and was presumed to have drowned while swimming in Bagong Sikat village on Good Friday, the disaster office said.
In Santa Ana, Cagayan, Jonel Agcaoili, 52, drowned while swimming during a picnic with friends on Good Friday.
In Alicia, Isabela, a family of three — the father Norman Balinang, 42, and his 16-year-old and 8-year-old sons — were found dead on Friday after they drowned while having a picnic off the Ganano River in Santa Maria Village on Thursday, the police said.
In Angadanan town, also in Isabela, a man drowned off the Cagayan River on Friday. His body is yet to be found.
In Oriental Mindoro, a 21-year-old man also drowned while swimming on Good Friday in the pool of the Kambal Bato Resort in Baco town.
On Thursday, the Baco public information office also reported that a 4-year-old girl was with her mother while swimming around noon when the victim failed to surface in the water.
Emergency responders were able to revive the girl but she died on the way to the hospital.