A tourist bus carrying college students to a camping activity in a resort in Tanay, Rizal province crashed on Monday morning, killing at least 13 students and hurting over 20 others, authorities said.
Fifty-seven students from Bestlink College of the Philippines in Novaliches, Quezon City (Metro Manila) were on their way to the Sacramento Valley Resort on Sampaloc Road in Tanay for a team-building activity, reportedly part of the school’s National Service Training Program (NSTP).
The tourist bus they were riding lost control and rammed into an electric post near Magnetic Hill at Peligrino Farm in Sitio Bayukan, Barangay Sampaloc at around 8:30 a.m.
Senior Inspector Maria Lourdes Usana, public information chief of the Rizal Provincial Police Office, said 10 students died on the spot while three were pronounced dead on arrival at various hospitals.
The bus driver, who was seriously injured in the accident, was also rushed to a nearby hospital and later died.
Engineer Carlos Inofre, chief of the Tanay disaster risk reduction and management office, said the crash killed students seating on the left side of the blue bus, which was wrecked.
The bus, with plate number TXS-325, is owned by Panda Coach Tours and Transport Inc. and was rented by the school for the camping activity.
Survivors said they had smelled of burning rubber before the crash.
Bong Bati, a Tanay rescue official, said 13 of the victims were rushed to Camp Capinpin Hospital in Barangay Sampaloc, 17 to the Rizal Provincial Hospital in Morong, six to the Tanay General Hospital and one to the Tanay Community Hospital.
Bati said 16 victims were transferred to the Amang Rodriguez Hospital in Marikina City past 12 noon.
It was learned that the driver, 37-year-old Juliane Lacordia, started working for Panda Tours only three months ago and had yet to submit results of his drug test.
Panda Coach Tours said it would extend assistance to the victims