A passenger bus plunged into a creek in a mountainous region southeast of the Philippine capital early on Sunday, killing five people and injuring 49.
Police and firefighters struggled in the dark for several hours as they pulled the dead and injured from the overturned bus at the bottom of the creek in Quezon province's Pagbilao township, police said.
The bus lost its brakes and plummeted into the creek while most passengers slept midway through a night trip from central Tacloban city to Quezon city in the capital, according to Quezon provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Erickson Velasquez.
Poorly maintained vehicles and roads, along with inadequate safety signs, drivers' lack of training and weak traffic law enforcement are blamed for many deadly accidents in the Philippines.
In the worst accident in recent years, 41 people died when their bus fell into a deep ravine while negotiating a downhill curve in the country's mountainous north on Aug 18.
Three days later, an ex-Philippine beauty queen was killed along with two others when their car collided with a passenger bus in Bula township northeast of Manila.
Last July, 15 people died when their bus slammed into a concrete barrier in central Cebu province. A month earlier, a bus rented by Iranian medical students fell into a ravine near Cebu city, killing 21 people.