Updated:A Bus in Antique Careens into a Ravine
A Bus in Antique Careens into a Ravine: A Ceres bus plummeted into a ravine in Hamtic town on the afternoon of December 5, 2023, resulting in the confirmed deaths of at least 17 individuals.
The most recent casualty passed away at approximately 3 a.m. on Wednesday, as announced by the Provincial Government in a press conference on the morning of December 6, 2023.
Governor Rhodora Cadiao of Antique reported that the Ceres bus, identified by body number 6289, had 28 passengers on board when it tumbled down a ravine, measuring 60 to 70 feet in depth, along what she referred to as a hazardous curve in Igbucagay.
Among the casualties are the bus driver, conductor, and line inspector, along with two individuals from foreign countries.
Out of the 28 individuals aboard the bus, 17 have been officially declared deceased, while four are currently receiving care at Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in Antique. Additionally, seven passengers in critical condition were promptly transported to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo for urgent medical attention.
Broderick Train, the head of PDRRMO, mentioned that among the 17 fatalities, 13 succumbed immediately at the scene, which included the bus driver, conductor, and the inspector-on-duty. The remaining four individuals passed away while undergoing medical treatment.
The retrieval operation was suspended on Wednesday morning, with authorities indicating that all the “visible bodies” had been successfully recovered.
However, the bus has not been retrieved from the crash site as of now.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the driver lost control of the bus’s brakes while navigating Barangay Igbucagay National Road. Consequently, the vehicle veered off course and plunged into the ravine. The bus was en route from Iloilo City to Culasi Town in Antique.
The barangay and municipal government units have been directed to promptly inform the PDRRMO if there are any further sightings of bodies.
The Bureau of Fire Protection-Antique, in collaboration with response teams from the municipalities of San Remigio, Sibalom, Tobias Fornier, San Jose de Buenavista, Patnongon, and Hamtic, promptly attended to the incident.
Cadiao assured that the Provincial Government will cover all hospital expenses for the victims, and the affected families will receive an initial financial assistance of P20,000.
She mentioned that they are currently reaching out to the relatives of the victims.
For the families, it’s not appropriate for me to say, “don’t worry.” However, we want to reassure you that we will take care of all hospitalization, medications, and their needs. “Don’t be anxious,” said Cadiao.
In a statement, Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI) extended its apologies to the victims and affirmed its commitment to cooperate with any investigations that may be conducted regarding the incident.
In coordination with the LTFRB Region 6, the management has decided to voluntarily suspend all operations of the 12 remaining units under the franchise involving Case No. 11-VI-021-AK pending investigation, wherein the bus involved in the incident had been a part of,it said.
VTI will provide financial aid for passengers and their families, including medical and burial expenses. Management has personnel on standby at the hospital for updates and assistance. We assure the public that we are diligently handling the situation and taking all necessary measures to ensure the roadworthiness and proper maintenance of our buses.
Cadiao urged the Department of Public Works and Highways to retrofit the roads where the incident occurred, highlighting that numerous accidents have occurred in that location in recent years due to its challenging curves.
The PDRRMO stated that the cause of Tuesday’s incident is still under investigation, emphasizing that the inquiry is ongoing.