Van fails to beat train; 3 dead
LUCENA CITY—Three people, including a 5-year-old girl, were killed and nine others were seriously injured when a Manila-bound train rammed a van loaded with vacationing family members at a railway crossing in Candelaria, Quezon, early Thursday.
Superintendent Arsenio Bantayan, Candelaria police chief, said the victims were aboard a white Toyota Innova (ZDH-485), traveling to Lucena City past 4 a.m., that collided with a train (body number 111) at a Philippine National Railways crossing along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Masin.
Bantayan identified the fatalities as Quesia Nicole Marti Bolus, 5; Paula Oliquiano Carasig, 21; and Nancy Oliquiano Carasig, all residents of Bacoor, Cavite. Quesia Nicole and Nancy were dead on the spot while Paula died while being treated at the hospital, he said.
The injured, now treated in two hospitals in Candelaria, were identified by the Candelaria police as Jonathan Domingo Agati, driver; and Jose Marilos Marti, Cheska Oliquiano Carasig, Cyle Gunson Danzon, Angelor Oliquiano Marti, 4-year-old Nathaniel Marti Bolus, 2-year-old Cedrick Nicolo Marti Bolus, Gabriel Oliqiano Carasig and Edwin Carasig, all of Bacoor, Cavite.
Investigators have yet to determine the exact relationships of the casualties and the injured except that they are relatives bound for Barangay Mauraro in Guinobatan, Albay, for a vacation, Bantayan said.
The victims were brought to hospitals by a group of rescuers from the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (DRRMC) that was sent to the accident site, said Henry Buzar, Quezon-DRRMC coordinator.
Quoting witnesses, Superintendent Bantayan said the van was running fast and tried to cross the railway tracks ahead of the approaching train.
The train, operated by machinist Dennis Ramos, hit the van on its right 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 locomotive was ordered to return to the Lucena PNR station, said Bantayan.
He said policemen, Army soldiers and village watchmen immediately cleared the accident site and returned the flow of traffic to normal.
DRRMC’s Buzar noted the lack of railway barriers or gates to warn motorists of approaching trains at the Candelaria railway crossing.
Senior Superintendent Valeriano de Leon, Quezon police chief, appealed to motorists to always slow down when approaching railway tracks.
“Slow down, listen and look both ways before crossing the tracks,” De Leon said.
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