ZAMBOANGA CITY: A van carrying mostly athletes fell down a cliff in the town of Buug in Zambo–anga Sibugay, killing its driver and injuring 14 passengers, police said on Monday.
In a related development, five people died and 28 others were seriously injured when the jeepney they were on lost its brakes and carshed into a one-meter-deep canal in Barangay Mapisla, Baay-Licuan in Abra province on Saturday night.
Police said the van was taking the athletes to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur for the annual sports competition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association.
Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, told The Manila Times the athletes were part of a delegation from Sulu province and said the driver Abdulajid Lukman, a resident of Zamboanga City, lost control of the wheel on a curve in the road.
The wounded, including teachers and a school nurse, were rushed to hospital.
The injured passengers were identified as Ayub Ramsani, Kuril Taludjud, Nurhaima Ramsani, Ramsani Mahmud—all teachers; and Andan Tammang, a sports assistant; school nurse Nur Aina Ramsani, and the student athletes Ferdiliza Ainul, Alhaina Banbon, Marhama Sarri, Ummal Nabri, Rasma Mahmud, Gerry Hamin, Arjaida Atiulla and Alhaina Bando.
The regional sports competition is a project of the Department of Education of the ARMM, which is participated by Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.
Meanwhile, the Abra Provincial Police Office identified the fatalities in the jeepney crash as Melba Millare, Slomen Colangan, Veronica Tucio, Noreen Tugadi and Dimple Tugadi. Nine other passengers were taken to Abra Christian Hospital and eight others to Seares Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.
The accident took place at about 6:05 p.m. on February 8 on Baay-Licuan municipal road at Sitio Galitungan in Barangay Nalbuan. The jeepney was identified as Victor Gallotan Pacio, 44.