Christmas tragedy: Road collision kills 20 in La Union

Christmas tragedy: Road collision kills 20 in La Union

At least 20 people were killed while 24 others were hurt when a bus collided with a jeepney in Agoo, La Union on Monday morning, police said. weather-forecast.com

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — A passenger bus bound for a northern city collided with a southbound jeepney in Agoo in La Union province early Monday, killing at least 20 people and hurting 24 others.

A Partas bus was on its way to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte when it collided with a jeepney in San Jose village, Agoo, La Union, killing 20 of the 29 passengers that the jeepney was carrying, Chief Insp. Roy Villanueva of Agoo police said.

The jeepney was on its way to Pilar village in Baoang town, he said, when the accident happened at around 3:30 in the morning.

"The investigation is still ongoing. We are still looking for the possible case of the accident," Villanueva told dzMM radio.

The Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board said that it would wait for the police report before issuing any suspension order to the companies involved.

Based on the initial information the Agoo police received, Villanueva said that the accident happened when the jeepney went to the lane of the bus along a national highway in the said town.

Villanueva said that it was possible the driver of the jeepney tried to overtake another vehicle or he fell asleep that led to his lost of control.

"Twenty are confirmed dead. Eighteen of the dead are in LUMC in Agoo, one is in ITRMC and then the other one is in a family hospital in Agoo," Villanueva said, adding that families of the victims could reach them through (+072) 607-1658 and 09989673031.

Among the named jeepney passengers who were bound to attend mass at the Our Lady of Manaoag Minor Bassilica in Manaoag, Pangasinan were: Pepito Antolin; Virgie Antolin 34; Mark Jerson Cabero, 7; Cecilia Antolin; Johnny Cabradilla, 43; Chita Cabradilla; Florence Cabradilla; Vicky Antolin; Adela Antolin; jeepey driver Rolando Perez; Hanna Ramirez 10; a 5-month old baby and Claudine Cabradilla.

The collision caused the jeepney's engine to be dismembered and the front of the bus to be punched inward, leading to significant damage.

He said that as of Monday morning some of the families had already been notified while many others had already arrived in the hospitals in the town.

Aileen Lizada, spokesman for the LTFRB, said that the insurance providers of the vehicles involved should take care of the expenses of the passengers.

When asked if the board of the agency was considering grounding the fleet of the companies involved in the accident, she said on dzMM, "We are still holding any action by the board. We want to ascertain first what happened before we act accordingly."

She said that based on initial information the bus appeared to be on its lane and collided with the jeepney when the latter tried to overtake along the highway.

The accident in La Union happened at the peak of the country's holiday rush as many try to make it home for the Yuletide season. Poor standards and law enforcement have been blamed for past transportation accidents in the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.

Just last week, at least five people were killed and more than 200 individuals were rescued after an inter-island ferry sank in the waters off the coast of Quezon province in southeastern Philippines.



Audrey Morallo reported from Manila.

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