(UPDATE) At least 20 people are dead and at least 40 others were injured in a multiple vehicle collision in Aitmonan, Quezon, around 170 kilometers away from Manila, early Saturday morning.
Initial reports said a 2-year old child were among the fatalities. Among those injured were a one-year old girl. The injured were brought to the Dona Martha Hospital in Atimonan and the the Emil Joanna Hospital.
Authorities identified some of the fatalities as:
Ma. Theresa I. Diezmo
Perfecto D. Zaro
Ronie Villeja-Cam Sur
Danilo Espencilla-Cam Norte
Michael Villamor (Rosario, Batangas)
Ibnrajick Muksan Ii (Oriental Mindoro)
Gloria Laurel (Mindoro)
According to reports, the driver of a 10-wheeler truck bound for Bicol lost control of his vehicle and rammed a Superline bus from behind in Barangay Sta. Catalina at around 1:00 a.m.
The collision sent both vehicles careening on the road which was made slippery by overnight rains. The two vehicles eventually hit 2 trucks, a jeepney and a trailer truck bound for Manila.
The driver of the bus is now in the custody of the Atimonan police, while the driver of the truck died on the spot.
ABS-CBN's Paul Hernandez reported that based on the initial investigation, engine trouble may be the probable cause of the collision.
According to Hernandez, authorities also said the driver of the truck may have lost control of the steering wheel. Investigation is still ongoing to see if a criminal charge can be filed against the Superline bus driver, identified as Alberto Nava.
As of this posting, authorities are working to recover the body of one victim trapped under the truck before opening the road to vehicular traffic.
This is believed to be the worst road accident in the diversion road in Atimonan, Quezon since a collision involving a trailer carrying a bulldozer in 1978, which left 28 people dead.
Watch more developments on the accident here.