Jeep with cement, rice, passengers plunges off North Cotabato cliff, 17 hurt

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KIDAPAWAN CITY: A passenger jeepney, loaded with construction materials and 17 persons, lost its brake system, plowed a steel railings Tuesday and plunged into a deep ravine, injuring all its passengers, police said.

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Four of the 17 injured remained in the hospital here due to serious injuries while the rest went home.

The Arakan traffic police told DXND Radyo Bida Kidapawan the incident happened at 11:45 a.m. in Barangay Greenhills after the jeep, driven by owner Datu Ali Budzal Abedin, had its brake system malfunctioned.

It went off the road and fell about 30 feet into a deep ravine surrounded with huge boulders and coconut trees. The jeep ended upside down with rescuers pulling every passenger slowly and carefully.

The victims were heading to Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology in Barangay Doroluman, Arakan, North Cotabato when the jeep (MVE-503) plowed a steel road railings into the embankment.

Police said aside from 17 passengers, the vehicle was also loaded with sacks of cement, and rice.

Tuesday’s highway mishap was not the first in the dangerous cliffs of Barangay Greenhills.

In October, four persons were killed when a panel delivery truck lost its brake and plunged into a cliff.

A “habal-habal” (passenger motorcycle) loaded with seven persons skidded on a concrete pavement and fell off a cliff, wounding all.

The Arakan police have repeatedly been reminding commuters to drive safely as the area, part of the President Roxas-Antipas-Arakan highway, has several sharp and dangerous curves.

Roads are slippery when it rains and police keep reminding commuters to take extra care. PNA

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