Death toll in Philippine “killer curve” bus accident rises to 17

December 6, 2023 - 2:39 PM
Rescuers conduct a retrieval operation after a bus carrying dozens of people lost its brakes and fell off a cliff in the central province of Antique, Philippines, December 5, 2023. (Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office - Urban Search and Rescue Unit/Handout)

 A passenger severely injured when a bus plunged into a ravine in the central Philippines has died, taking the death toll from the accident to 17, authorities said on Wednesday.

The bus was carrying dozens of people when its brakes failed in the central province of Antique on Tuesday afternoon, the local governor, Rhodora Cadiao, told a press conference.

Seven people were in critical condition while four were stable and recovering, she said.

Local media had reported earlier than 28 died in the crash.

Cadiao said the bus was traveling to Culasi in Antique from the neighboring province of Iloilo when its brakes malfunctioned on a winding road and it plunged 30 meters (98.5 feet) into the ravine.

“We call that area the killer curve. It was already the second bus that fell off there,” Cadiao told DZRH radio station.

Rescue operations at the site have stopped after all visible bodies were retrieved, the Antique government said on Facebook.

“The engineering design of this road is very faulty,” Cadiao said. “I want to condemn that road already.”

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

– Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Sandra Maler and Neil Fullick