20 injured as bus carrying Basilan athletic delegation meets accident

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/15 February) – Twenty people, mostly teachers, were injured Saturday noon when the chartered bus they were riding fell on its side after a near collision with another vehicle at the Zamboanga Sibugay section of the Zamboanga-Pagadian Highway, police said.

Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 spokesman, said the victims were part of the athletic delegation from Basilan province that saw action in the just concluded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association (ARMAA) meet.

Huesca said the victims were traveling from Marawi City en route to this city aboard a chartered bus of the Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., driven by Charlito Bout.

The bus fell on its side after it swerved when Bout avoided collision with another vehicle traveling from the opposite direction, Huesca said.

The ARMAA, which was held from February 10 to 14 in Marawi City, was participated by athletes from the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Huesca said the accident occurred at around 12:46 p.m. Saturday at the national highway in Barangay Monching, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Huesca said the victims were brought to the Pathfinder Hospital in the nearby municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

A day before the ARMAA started, a teacher died while 11 others were injured when the van they were riding fell into a ravine while negotiating a curve in Barangay Bulaan, Buug, also in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The victims were traveling from this city en route to Marawi City, the venue of this year’s ARMAA.

The victims, consisting of six athletes, teachers and officials as well as a school nurse, were part of the Sulu athletic delegation. (MindaNews)