19 dead as bus plunges off cliff in Philippines
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19 dead as bus plunges off cliff in Philippines

Philippines is notorious for its lax regulation on public transportation and poorly maintained roads.

world Updated: Mar 21, 2018 09:49 IST
AFP, Manila
Philippines,Philippines bus crash,Manila
The bus hit a bridge railing and crashed into a 15-metre deep cliff in the province of Occidental Mindoro.(Representative image)

Nineteen people were killed and 21 others injured when a passenger bus lost control and plunged off a cliff in the central Philippines, police said Wednesday.

The bus, which was heading to the capital Manila, skidded off a mountain road on Mindoro island late Tuesday, said regional police spokeswoman Imelda Tolentino.

Rescue workers were pulling the dead and injured from the vehicle, which landed at the bottom of a wooded ravine, she added.

“Police are investigating why the driver lost control -- whether there was mechanical trouble or the driver fell asleep,” Tolentino told AFP.

Police photos showed rescuer workers clambering down the cliff to reach the bus, which lay on its side amongst trees and grass about 15 metres (49 feet) below the road.

The accident occurred near Sablayan town, which is about 195 kilometres (121 miles) south of Manila.

Road accidents are common in the Philippines, where poorly maintained buses and poorly-trained drivers form the backbone of land transport options.

Highway fatalities are alarmingly high due to poor traffic law enforcement, the dilapidated conditions of vehicles, and a lack of safety features like signs and railings, especially in far-flung provinces.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 09:45 IST