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Three killed, 32 hurt in Batangas bus accident

Three passengers were killed and more than 20 others were injured after a bus they were riding went out of control and fell into a canal in Batangas before dawn Saturday.

Superintendent Raul Tacaca, head of the Santo Tomas town police, said the PP Bus Lines (TWS-752) was heading for Manila from Davao City in the southern Philippines.

A report on QTV’s Balitanghali said initial investigation showed the incident occurred at about 2 a.m. at Maharlika Highway, San Vicente village in Santo Tomas town. The bus swerved along the road, colliding with a fruit truck bound for Bicol.

Another report by radio dzRH said police has so far identified only one of the three fatalities. Roma Melba, 20, of a yet unidentified address, was identified through his ID. Along with Melba, another man and a woman were pinned inside the wreckage of the bus.

Seven of the injured passengers were from Surigao del Norte: Odangalan Ravero, 23; Melchor Besas, 39; Bernarde Vicente, 19; Filomeno Roberto, 32; Julius Balukan, 25; Daniel de Calso, 58; Nene Rapol, 24; and Samuel Madlesara, 41.

The twelve other injured passengers were: Rubena Plaza, 52, from Tagum city in Davao del Norte; Rose Ann Clemente, 18, from Surigao del Sur; Ian Cordova, 14, from Cotabato; Mark Rona, 9, from Marikina; Siena Baison, 11, from Caloocan; Peblan Ole, 43, from Sta. Mesa, Manila; Eliane Wong, 57, from Marikina; Helen Temelenyo, 45, from Manila; and from Bulacan were Roger Barba, 47; Sielita Barba, 44; and Cristina Catindig, 53.

The injured, including the driver, were rushed to St. Francis Cabrini Medical Center. Some of them were rushed to Daniel Mercado Medical Center in Tanauan City, Tacaca said.

The bus hit a couple of electric posts before toppling into a canal.

“’Di masyadong mabilis, siguro nakatulog ang driver ... maganda ang panahon (The bus was not speeding and the weather was not stormy. We suspect the driver fell asleep at the wheel)," Tacaca said. - With Katrina Elaine Alba. GMANews.TV

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