MASBATE CITY, March 20 (PNA) -- A passenger multicab bound for Barangay Marcella in Uson town fell into a ravine along the national road in Barangay Poblacion District No.1, Mobo, Masbate, at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Police investigation showed that the vehicle was overloaded with passengers when it negotiated the steepest portion of the road approaching Mobo town.
At least 24 passengers were reported to have been seriously injured.
The vehicle, en route to Uson town, was carrying about 30 passengers from Masbate City when it experienced engine failure and eventually stopped, causing the vehicle to slide uncontrollably backward.
The driver said he then applied the brake but found it not working, leading the multicab to plunge down the ravine.
The passengers injured were Lovejean A. Espinella, 7 years old; Alma C. Galvan, 23; Jocelyn L. Galvan, 38; Melanie A. Espenilla, 24; Noel C. Francisco, 38, a Philippine Army soldier; Abraham Buenavista, 20; Cecelia C. Senadjan; Edwin A. Mondelo, 27; Annabel C. Asucro, 48; Zelda Bolante, 50; Chezzy Rose Bolante, 11 months; Nora Ynales, 50; Joan De Mesa, 27; Gilbert Bandije, 20; Analyn Asucro, 48; Enriquita Samson, 55; Novelyn Badillo, 17; Antonio Allegre, 50; Cejay Marfil, 21; Armenia A. Mayor, 51; Annjean Carmen, 38; Rodrigo Jet Aban, 18; Emmie Navarro, 22; Cejie Manal, 18; and one unidentified unconscious male person, wearing a blue shirt with a logo of Osmena Colleges.
The victims were taken to the Masbate Provincial Hospital and the Mobo Municipal Health Office for immediate treatment.
Driver Rosendo S. Balatucan, 55, is now under investigation on whether the accident was due to mechanical failure or human error. (PNA) RMA/FGS/NBT/CBD/EDS