MANILA (UPDATED) - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on Saturday ordered the suspension of the bus operator that figured in an accident on North Luzon Expressway.
The Buena Sher Transport Corp. is the operator of the Del Carmen bus that crashed Friday night, killing eight of its passengers.
The suspension covers the operator's 19 units plying the Cubao to Sta. Maria Bulacan route via NLEX.
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III told ABS-CBN News via text message earlier that the board is moving toward the immediate suspension of the bus operator's franchise pending an investigation into the incident.
"Meanwhile, we have sent people to investigate the road crash. Insurance company is also directed to get their people on the ground to initiate processing of insurance benefits of victims," Delgra said.
Initial investigation revealed the bus was traveling from Bulacan to Metro Manila when it crashed into an SUV after the latter slowed down. The bus hit the barrier in the middle of the highway and toppled on its side.
Police identified 6 of the casualties as Leo Victorino, Jennifer Fernandez, Joan Garcia, Mary Grace Alvarez, Maria Paz Mariano, and Zeus Lapig. It has yet to confirm the identities of the two other bodies brought to Rogaciano M. Mercado Memorial Hospital in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Aside from the 8 bus passengers killed, 25 others were injured and brought to hospitals in Quezon City, Valenzuela City, and Sta. Maria. This included Victorio Delos Reyes, the driver of the bus.
Valenzuela City police chief Col. Carlito Gaces said initial investigation showed the bus was traveling normally before the crash and had around 30 passengers.
Buena Sher Transport Corp. later told ABS-CBN News the bus had been checked for road worthiness before traveling and blamed the wet road from continued monsoon rains as a factor in the crash.
Operations manager Roberto Viardo said this was the first time the bus company encountered a deadly road crash.
The bus company added it would pay for the expenses of the victims.
Meanwhile, Valenzuela police said they are still looking into the possible liability of the company and its driver, who could also face charges. - With a report from Ernie Manio