Updated 11:11 AM PHT Wed, April 19, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — At least 29 passengers were killed and 28 others were injured when a bus fell into a 100-foot ravine in Barangay Capintalan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra told CNN Philippines' News Night that as of 7 p.m., the injured passengers have all been admitted to Veterans Regional Hospital in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, while the dead victims are yet to be identified by their relatives.
Yarra added the bus driver still remained unidentified, as authorities were still unsure whether he fled the scene or was one of the killed victims. They are already working with the bus operator as part of the investigation.
The ill-fated bus-Leo Marick Trans. Bus-was traveling from Ilagan, Isabela to Candon, Ilocos Sur.
Public Employment Services Office manager Porfirio Yasay Jr. of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya said the Santa Fe Rescue Team is among the responders of the accident, at it happened near the boundary of the two provinces.
Yasay added among the fatalities is a 1-year-old child. Aboard the bus were about 15 teenagers, ages 15-19.
According to Police Supt. Robert De Guzman of the Carranglan police, residents recounted that the bus was speeding downhill and malfunctioned before it fell into the ravine.
He added the bus conductor was able to jump out of the bus, but rescuers are still looking for him.
De Guzman said different sectors are helping out in the ongoing search and rescue operations in the area.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Palace extends its sympathies to the victims.
"We express our deep condolences to the families of the victims who died in the tragic bus accident in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija," Abella said.
He added that rescue operations and investigation is currently underway.
"We guarantee that the culprits behind the fatal bus mishap will be held accountable," Abella said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has already issued a preventive suspension order against LeoMarick Trans. due to the incident.