TANTANGAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/08 July) — An Elf truck carrying delegates of the Bangsamoro Leaders Assembly in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao collided with a passenger bus along the national highway in Barangay Maibo Sunday, afternoon, killing its driver and critically injuring two others.
The truck, bearing plate number RFM-187, was carrying 11 passengers who were returning home to Barangay Sapu Masla in Malapatan, Sarangani province, when it collided with a Yellow Bus unit carrying some 20 passengers at around 4:50 p.m.. The collision bent the front row of the truck killing its driver and severely injuring the legs of two his passengers in the truck’s hood. .
Residents and other delegates to the Assembly from other trucks made several attempts before finally finding a way to get the two passengers trapped in the truck’s hood. Their legs were squeezed by the impact of the collision that instantly killed the driver.
Without any power tools, the volunteer rescuers used their bare hands in freeing the trapped passengers.
Bu-ar Malagos, who was riding in the truck behind the Elf truck and was also from the same place as the accident victims, said that the back of the truck has several passengers including two children who suffered bruises and slight wounds.
“We were in a convoy on our way back to Tantangan, after attending the assembly. The passengers had been rushed to the hospitals. There were three women at the back with two children and several more men who all suffered injuries,” said Malagos.
According to residents who witnessed the accident, the truck tried to overtake a passenger van but was not able to make it, and while on the opposite lane, collided head-on with the bus.
“The truck actually hit the end of the van, and then the truck skid since the road was slippery due to the rain, but we are still not final with our investigation since we are still trying to get the statements of the bus and truck passengers but most of them had been rushed to the hospital. We estimate there were (at least) 20 passengers in the bus with most of them having slight injuries,” SPO1 Fedirico Pulido of the Tantangan Municipal Police.
Police are now looking for the bus driver who fled the area right after the accident. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)