ISABELA, Philippines- The Leomarick Trans bus who figured in what could be the deadliest crash in recent years was overloaded, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
Superintendent Antonio Yarra, Nueva Ecija provincial police chief, said the bus, owned by certain Leonardo Patulot, was carrying 77 passengers, including the driver and conductor, when the crash happened.
“Based on our account of deaths and injured, the bus was carrying 77 persons,” Yarra told Forum in a phone interview on Wednesday, April 19.
Yarra said the “minibus” is supposed to carry only up to 45 passengers.
As of 7 am Wednesday, 31 passengers were already confirmed dead while 46 others are still being treated in different hospitals in Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.
One of the fatalities was the bus driver, Rolando Mangawang. Yarra said the wife of Mangawang confirmed his identity.
Yarra said based on survivors’ account, one of the bus’ front tires allegedly exploded, causing it to overturn, then falling off into a more or less hundred-foot ravine in Capintalan village in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
He said they are already coordinating with the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the filing of charges against the bus company.
The LTRFB already issued a 30-day preventive suspension order against Leomarick Trans on Tuesday. –Northernforum.net