Bus slams into fence; 7 killed, 40 hurt
CEBU CITY—Seven passengers were killed and more than 40 others were wounded on Saturday when the bus they were riding slammed into a concrete fence in Toledo City, about 50 kilometers west of this city.
A Jegans bus was on its way to Pinamungahan town and was running on a curve past 7 p.m. when it hit the fence near a chapel and Don Andres Soriano High School before falling on its side.
Six passengers were killed on the spot. They were identified as Jose Baraquil, 29; Thelma Sipalay, 24; Virgilio Canabano Larita Jr., 54; Cherry Ann Millama, 16; Melinda Umba, 48; and Ereneo Umba, 59. The seventh fatality, Felidelfa Barabate, 59, died of brain injury at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.
Except for Sipalay, Larita and Melinda Umba, the rest are from Pinamungahan town, hometown of bus liner owner, Dr. Antonio Yapha, former congressman of Cebu’s third district.
Forty-three passengers were wounded and were brought to Carmen Copper Hospital and Toledo City Hospital. Thirty of the passengers later transferred to VSMMC.
Yapha told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they were willing to submit themselves for investigation. But he added Saturday’s accident was the first since he started his business in 1975.
Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, daughter of the former congressman, told radio station dyAB that they would assist the victims and their families.
Senior Police Officer 2 Larry Pili of the Toledo police said the bus, which was on its way to Pinamungahan, was cruising in a downhill curve on Don Andres Soriano Street when the brake malfunctioned and rammed into a concrete fence owned by Maria Bacalso before it turned upside down.
Bus driver Allan Pastidio was detained at the Toledo police station pending filing of charges.
Passenger Rosalinda Cerna, one of the wounded, said the bus was speeding even if it was going downhill on a blind curve. She said she heard something burst and then the bus hit the fence.
The blind curve was an accident-prone area, said Donna Faye Loayan, who lives 30 meters from the crash site. “Many road accidents have happened there—motorcycle crashes, trucks that overshoot the road. Many people have died,” she said in Cebuano.
On July 4, 2010, 15 passengers were killed and 65 others were wounded when a VJ & A bus sped downhill and slammed into a concrete fence, near the area where Saturday’s accident took place.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.