UPDATE: 10 killed, 42 injured in Bukidnon bus bombing

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/10 December) — Ten people (not 11 as earlier reported) were killed and 42 others were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a bus cruising along the highway in Maramag, Bukidnon on Tuesday afternoon, reports said.

The Public Affairs Information and Assistance Office (PAIA) of the provincial government identified the fatalities as Kim Lloyd Vallente, 16, of Malaybalay; Catherine Villahermosa, 28, of Valencia City, Bukidnon; Anecita Santillan, 21, of Dologon, Maramag; Jhon Bernard Cunahab; Jhon Rey Baldesco; Jonathan Balida, of Panadtalan, Maramag; Mariele Achacoso, 16, of Malaybalay; Glezyl Mae Gonzaga; Michael Bostos; and Johani Sususco.

Rural Transit of 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.

PAIA head Hansel Echavez 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 Vallente, a first year engineering student at CMU, died even before reaching Lavina Hospital.

Villahermosa, a PhilHealth employee, was also rushed to the Maramag Provincial Hospital but died along the way, said Barilea.

Last Nov. 6, four people were injured in another bombing of an RTMI bus also in Barangay Dologon in Maramag. Bus number 204 came from Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat and bound for Cagayan de Oro City. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)