MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Two people were killed and seven injured when a bus rammed onto a concrete column of the Metro Manila Skyway in Bicutan, Taguig on Thursday morning.
A Lucena Bus heading to Manila hit one of the columns between 7:40-7:45 a.m. killing the bus driver and conductor, an official of the Skyway said.
Ed Nepomuceno, head of special projects and operations of the Skyway, told ANC the north-bound bus "suddenly swerved to the middle and hit one of the columns of the Skyway."
"The driver was pinned down and also the conductor who was also seated in front," he said.
The fatalities were Jovito Michael Ruado, the bus driver, and Richard Negrana, the conductor.
Ruado was a resident of 147 Sitio Pajo, Baesa in Quezon City, while Negrana was from Burgos, Pangasinan.
Seven passengers sustained injuries.
One woman was badly hurt and needs to be operated on for back injuries. One of her children sustained head injuries. They were taken to Parañaque Doctors' Hospital in Better Living Subdivision.
Some of the injured were taken to the Taguig Pateros Hospital.
North-bound traffic, sleepy driver
Nepomuceno said the road mishap made only one lane passable and caused traffic build-up along the highway.
According to the Bicutan Highway Patrol Group (HPG), the driver and conductor died on the spot.
Based on some accounts of the passengers, at the start of the trip in Lucena City, they already noticed something unusual with the way the bus driver was behaving.
They said the driver looked tired and sleepy. His driving was erratic, and some noticed he would tap or slap his head and face, indicating he was falling asleep and was trying to wake himself up.
The next thing they knew, the bus hit a concrete barrier of the highway and proceeded to smash onto one of the Skyway's columns.
As of posting time, the bus had already been removed from the highway, making Manila-bound traffic lighter. -- with a report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News; ANC