By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least 13 people were injured after a sugarcane truck collided with a Ceres Liner bus along the highway in Barangay Busa, Manapla, Negros Occidental, yesterday morning.
Fretzie Matunding, head of the Manapla town Rescue Team, said the truck was parked along the roadside after suffering mechanical problems when the Ceres bus, heading for Bacolod City, collided with the idle vehicle.
The force of the impact wrecked the front part of the bus, forcing the passengers to use the windows to exit the vehicle.
Matunding said they required assistance from neighboring Cadiz City and requested a crane in order to remove passengers trapped inside the bus.
Based on an initial traffic investigation by Manapla municipal police, it is possible the driver of the bus did not see the early warning device and collided with the truck.
The bus driver, identified as 49-year-old Domiciano Panugaling, is presently detained at the Manapla Municipal Police Station.
In a radio interview following the accident, Vallacar Transit Incorporated (VTI) Legal and Media Relation Manager Jade Marquez Seballos said the injured passengers were all rushed to the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City.
Seballos said most of the passengers were discharged after receiving treatment, although one victim. identified as Julia Cañete-Kennedy, remains at the hospital.
She added, their operations manager began monitoring the situation following the incident./DGB, WDJ