MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 9 Dec) – Eleven people were killed, nine of whom on the spot, and 20 others were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a bus cruising along the highway in Maramag, Bukidnon this afternoon, reports said.
Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. bus number 2640 reportedly just left the main gate of Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Barangay Dologon in Maramag after it picked up student passengers going home when the explosion took place a little past 6 p.m.
Hansel Echavez, head of the provincial government’s Public Affairs and Information Assistance office, said the bomb exploded in the middle of the bus.
Jose Eric Barilea, a radio broadcaster based in Maramag who is monitoring the news, told MindaNews over mobile phone the de luxe non-airconditioned bus was full of students as afternoon classes just ended.
He said the bus originally came from Banisilan in North Cotabato, passing by Wao in Lanao del Sur before it headed towards Maramag. Its final destination would have been Cagayan de Oro City.
Barilea said most of those injured, or 17 people, were admitted at the Adventist Medical Center in neighboring Valencia City. Other reports said four were also brought to the Lavina General Hospital, although one of them expired. Barilea said Kim Lloyd Vallente of Malaybalay City, a first year engineering student at CMU, died even before reaching Lavina Hospital.
Catherine Villahermosa of Valencia City, a PhilHealth employee, was also rushed to the Maramag Provincial Hospital but died along the way, said Barilea.
MindaNews so far got the identity of only one passenger who died on the spot – Aniceta Santillan of Maramag.
Last Nov. 6, four people were injured in another bombing of an RTMI bus also in Barangay Dologon in Maramag. Bus number 204 came form Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat and bound for Cagayan de Oro City.