Recent reports say that the minibus was also overloaded, which might have played a factor in the large number of casualties.
In a sad turn of events, at least 31 people were killed, and 46 others were injured when a minibus in Nueva Ecija went off the road and plunged into a ravine.
One of the front tires of the bus exploded
According to initial reports, the bus driver was unable to stop the bus due to malfunctioning brakes, however, investigators found that one of the front tires of the bus had exploded, which could have caused the the bus to crash and fall into the ravine.
One of the survivors, Ian Fernandez, adds that the engine had stopped a few moments after the bus passed through the Cagayan Valley-Nueva Ecija Highway, which was a few kilometers away from Dalton Pass at the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.
According to Fernandez, who was travelling with his wife and daughter, he had to jump out of the bus when he realized that it was starting to fall off the road. His wife and daughter were both injured, and were taken to a hospital in Bayombong.
The bus was also overloaded with passengers
According to an interview from Nueva Ecija Police director Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, he said that the capacity of the bus should have been 45 passengers, but the bus had 77 passengers during the incident.
He shares, "Batay sa laki ng bus, halatang overloaded ito... may 77 na pasahero at 45 lamang ang capacity nito."
When asked about road safety signs, he shared that there weren't enough in the area. "May mga barrier sa gilid ng bangin pero intermittent. Lumusot sa awang ang bus. Putol-putol ang barrier sa area," he adds.
Currently, the owner of the LeoMarick minibus has yet to show up for police investigation.
Keep safe during roadtrips
For a lot of families, going on a long drive isn't always an option, which is why a lot of people still ride public transportation, especially for those who are going to far flung provinces.
While a lot of bus companies are reputable and trusted, it still pays to keep your family safe, so that in case of an emergency, you're sure that nothing will happen to your family.
- Make sure that the bus you're riding is well-maintained. While you can't check the entire bus to see if it's safe or not, buses that are well-maintained on the outside or seem new and clean are generally safer since it means that the company takes the time to properly maintain their vehicles.
- Only trust reputable companies. Resist the urge to be "cheap" and choose a lesser-known bus company, especially if they have a history of accidents. It's important to do some research beforehand so that you're sure that your family is not in any danger.
- Buckle up! Seatbelts save lives, and some buses are equipped with individual seatbelts for their passengers. Make sure to use these seatbelts so that you and your family are safe and secure.
- If the bus seems overloaded, it's best to not ride that bus. Overloading is a common practice here in the country, but it's very unsafe and is potentially dangerous. If it seems that the bus you're going to ride is overloaded, then talk to someone, such as the conductor, and inform them that you'll take another bus instead.
Images from: Pinoy Teleserye
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