2 soldiers killed, 3 others hurt as truck falls into ravine in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/ 28 Sept) – Two members of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion were killed and three others were injured when their vehicle fell into a 20-foot ravine in Barangay Meocan in Arakan, North Cotabato on Thursday noon, a military official said.

Lt. Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, commander of the 19th IB, identified the victims as Pfc Joemar Tan and Cpl Vincent Sarona, both Scout Rangers.

Senior Inspector Jun Napat, police chief of Arakan said the driver of the government-owned truck used by the soldiers stopped on the shoulder of the narrow dirt road to allow a motorcycle to pass through.

The soil on the road shoulder, however, collapsed, sending the truck down the cliff, Napat said.

The municipal government identified the area as landslide-prone.

Napat said Tan and Sarona, who were both seated at the back of the truck, were thrown out of the vehicle.

Tan died while being treated at the Municipal Health Services Center in Arakan, while Sarona expired at the Madonna General Hospital in Kidapawan City.

The three soldiers who sustained several injuries were also rushed to the Madonna Genera Hospital.

Rescuers and staff of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of Arakan went to the area and gave first aid to the victims.

“I ask nothing from the people of Arakan but to say a fitting prayer for the eternal repose of the souls of my brave men,” Paraso said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)