8 dead, 15 injured as passenger-loaded dump truck falls off ravine

A DUMP truck fell into a 5-meter- deep ravine in Tabuk City, Kalinga  province on Black Saturday killing at least eight of its passengers and injuring 15 others.

Cordillera police director Brigadier General Israel Ephraim T. Dickson said accordong to an initial investigation by the Tabuk City police, the driver of the dump truck identified as Mark John Lazaro,20, lost control of the vehicle as he was negotiating the high section  of Sitio Binongsay in Barangay Malin-awa around 10 a.m. on Saturday.

As a result, the truck carrying 18 passengers moved backwards before falling down the ravine.

Dickson said  the driver and his passengers suffered multiple head and body injuries and were pulled out by rescuers to safety.

PNP Regional Office Cordillera information officer  Police Maj. Carolina Lacuata said Rufina Limto Dawagon, 49; Edmund Lagwingon Mangagom; Ghelyn Khim Gallema, 13; Jules Mangagom Alvester, 7;  and Gaspar Edoc were  declared dead on arrival at Kalinga Provincial Hospital, Cagayan Valley Medical Center and Almora General Hospital.

Meanwhile, Crisanta Casirayan, Lucita Mangagom, and Doming Matalang, died while undergoing treatment.

Those injured were Luming Gallamoy, 48; Gaspar Edoc; Willy Salida; Cecilia Balangui; Purinomo Galamto; Divine Mangagom, 18; Elvira Otal Simangon, 27; Aprilyn Otal, 25; Basilio Baydon; Dominador Casirayan, 52; Corazon Matalang, 54; Nelia Malawis Sabaway, 50; Stallon Mangagom; Jeniffer Malawis Sabaway, 13; and Kiefer Gallamoy Simangan.

The victims were all residents of New Tanglag, Tabuk City, Kalinga.

Dickson said  the victims were on their way to Bgy. Balawag  to attend a a traditional ritual called “pusipos, ” (relatives visit and enliven a sick elder), when the accident happened.

The deadly incident prompted  Philippine National Police spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac to remind all drivers of passenger buses and jeepneys and other utility vehicles as well as utility trucks to always “stay alert, drive defensively and observe safety driving rules to avoid vehicular accidents resulting to deaths and injuries.”

With Cesar Reyes