19 dead after Manila-bound bus loses brakes in Mindoro

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At least 19 have been confirmed dead and 21 injured after a bus fell off a cliff in Mindoro Occidental. Details below.

On Tuesday, March 20, a bus from Mindoro bound for Manila crashed into a bridge railing and fell off a 15 to 20 meter cliff. At least 19 passengers have been confirmed dead, while another 21 were injured in the Mindoro bus crash. 

The bus driver, Arno Panganiban, died instantly.

Mindoro bus crash was reportedly due to brake failure

According to CNN Philippines, the Dimple Star transport bus (plate number TYU 708), which was traveling from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to Manila, lost its brakes near Patrick Bridge. 

After the Mindoro bus crash, victims were rushed to the Occidental Mindoro Provincial hospital and San Sebastian District hospital. 

mindoro bus crash

After the Mindoro Bus crash, 10 Dimple Star Transport vehicles have been placed under suspension order. | Photo: GMA NEWS Twitter

As of this writing, 13 of the 19 fatalities have yet to be identified. The Sablayan Disaster Operation Center is urging the victims’ families to help identify them by going to the two hospitals. 

Aileen Lizada of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) told CNN that they will place the 10 vehicles of Dimple Star Transport on a prevention suspension order. 

Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of those who perished in the Mindoro bus crash.

Mindoro bus crash highlights safety lessons families should know

Sadly, the number of road cash accidents in the Philippines has been on the rise since 2006. More worrying still is that over 500 children die every year due to road accidents.

In 2017 alone, there have been several bus accidents, including the fatal Tanay bus crash that claimed the lives of 58 students.

With the Holy Week holiday and other long weekends coming up, it’s frightening to know how quickly accidents can happen. And while making sure a bus is in good condition is the responsibility of operators, we can do our part to make sure our family stays safe while travelling. 

Are you going out of town soon? Here are some safety reminders, moms and dads:

  • Do your research. Is the bus transport accredited? A quick Google search will yield news articles about the company’s track record. If their vehicles have been in numerous accidents in the past, then it’s usually not a good sign. 
  • Chance passenger? Make sure the bus isn’t overloaded. When going out of town during “peak season,” tickets sell out pretty quickly. Make sure not to board a bus on impulse. If you have to wait for the next bus, then do so. 
  • Don’t ride a bus that has no seat belts. Sadly, there are buses with no functioning seat belts. This should be a non-negotiable! Even for short drives, seat belts could mean the difference between life or death.
  • Check if the bus has functioning emergency exits. Buses should be equipped with safety features that will make it easy to escape in the event of a fire or accident.

Is there a way to choose a safe seat on a bus?

Experts say the safest part of the bus is the seat right behind the driver. Why? this is because it’s usually the closest to the exit. 

Elvira Medina, the president of the National Center for Commuters Safety & Protection tells ABS-CBN’s Red Alert, “The natural tendency of a human being is to save himself.” So sitting close to the driver can assure you that you will most likely be safe in the event of a crash. 

However, some claim taking an aisle seat in the middle of the bus is the safest choice. This is simply because collisions usually happen at the front or back of the bus. It also allows you to access the exit easily.

What’s more, some believe sitting along the aisle during an accident lessens the risk of injury or death because the window seat passenger can “cushion impact.”

Sadly, no matter how safe we try to be, fatal accidents can still happen, but hopefully our transport officials make the necessary steps to make sure all companies adhere to safety standards.

Simple brake checks could save lives.


Sources: CNN, Rappler, ABS-CBN News

READ THIS ALSO: Child trapped inside car after road accident

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza