34 confirmed dead, 45 injured in Nueva Ecija bus crash — NDRRMC

MANILA — In an interview with the news program Ito Ang Balita, Spokesperson Mina Marasigan of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) clarified that the number of fatalities in a bus accident in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija has already reached 34.

Meanwhile, Nueva Ecija Police Director Senior Superintendent Antonio Yarra said many of the casualties were brought to the Veterans Regional Hospital in Nueva Vizcaya.

The survivors are still being treated at various hospitals in the province.

According to George Basilloo, Health Education and Promotion Officer 3 of Veterans Regional Hospital, “Karamihan po dito ay CCI (Controlled Cortical Impact), head injury, tapos yung iba naman is orthopedic cases. Ibig sabihin, nabalian po ng kamay at paa (Many of the cases brought here are CCI (Controlled Cortical Impact), head injury. Others are orthopedic cases. this means they have broken legs or arms).”

Walter Obra and Rofelia Salvano are among the survivors of the accident.

The two said they were in the middle of the trip when the bus driver shouted that he lost control of the brakes.

One of the survivors, Walter Obra, narrated, “Nag-panic na ang tao, nagsigawan na sa loob ng bus… umupo na lang po ako at kumapit sa upuan, tapos ilang segundo bumagsak nakami sa bangin, nakita ko yung bus wala na yung hood niya (The people panicked, and shouted inside the bus. I just sat down, and held on to the seat tightly. Then after several seconds, we fell off the cliff. I saw the bus had lost its hood).”

While another survivor, Rofelia Salvano recalled, “Pag-overtake po niya nawalan po ng preno… tinakpan ko po ng bag yung ulo ng anak ko tapos niyakap ko siya (The bus lost control after overtaking another vehicle. I covered my child’s head with a bag and hugged my child tightly).”

The ravine in Barangay Capintalan where the bus plunged into is about 80 to 100 foot deep.

The area is considered accident prone due to its zig-zagged road going to Abra and Ilocos Sur.

Senior Superintendent Antonio Yarra, however, said the police will still have to confirm if the bus driver really lost control of the brakes or, as some passengers have reported, its front wheels exploded before the accident.

Meanwhile, the victims are appealing to the owner of the bus to give them aid.

Passenger Obra said they will need some financial assistance as they are unable to return to work immediately.

While Salvano appealed, “Kung pwede po sana lahat ng gastos namin sagutin po nila kasi talagang wala po kaming magagawa (If possible, they should shoulder all our expenses because we can longer provide for ourselves).”   —  Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue

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