19 dead, 22 hurt after truck plunges into Apayao ravine


Posted at Nov 01 2019 04:26 AM | Updated as of Nov 03 2019 12:25 AM

MANILA (UPDATE)—At least 19 people were killed and 21 others were injured after a truck they rented fell into a ravine in Conner town, Apayao, Thursday night.

The truck, carrying mostly farmers, had come from Rizal town, Cagayan, local police said.

The passengers were in Rizal to pick up free corn seeds given out by the Department of Agriculture to farmers whose livelihood was impacted by the rice tarrification law, one of the survivors said.

One of the dead, Imelda Talay, 53, reportedly insisted on joining the trip to avail of the free seeds, her husband, Rogelio, said.

Mechanical failure is believed to have caused the accident, police said. It was also raining hard when the crash happened.

"Overloading. Forty-three 'yung pasahero, tapos 'yung karga pa nila palay," said Capt. Manuel Canipas Jr., Conner Police Station chief.

According to the victims' families, a minor was behind the wheel.

Randy Bayaua, one of the wounded, said the truck left Rizal later than the group had planned, because some of the farmers could not show identification documents, which they were required to produce before availing of the free seeds.

"Nagpagawa pa ng ID iyong iba," Bayaua said, causing them to fall behind schedule and forcing them to hit the road at night.

Narciso Edillo, director of the regional office of the agriculture department, said: "Iyon nga ang pakiusap natin sa mga (local government unit) na huwag ng abutin ng gabi ang distribution."

Bodies have been retrieved from the site while those injured, including the driver, are recuperating at a hospital. — Report from Micaella Ilao and Harris Julio, ABS-CBN News