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17 Dead in Traffic Disaster

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A devastating collision between a dump truck loaded with sand and gravel and a van claimed 17 lives in the Southern Philippines on March 25, 2024. This tragic incident, which occurred in Antipas, North Cotabato, Mindanao, has been marked as one of the region’s worst recent traffic disasters.

Antipas town’s police chief, Captain Godofredo Tupas II, confirmed the fatal collision. He reported that three additional people sustained injuries in the crash, which happened around noon on an infamously dangerous section of the road.

According to Captain Tupas, the cargo truck, a 10-wheeler, was descending a slope when it suffered brake failure, leading to a collision with the passenger van.

During a phone interview with The Associated Press, Tupas revealed that the crash and subsequent fire caused the death of nearly all occupants of the van. Out of the 18 passengers, 17, including the driver, did not survive. One survivor from the van is presently receiving medical treatment for injuries.

Army personnel, local law enforcement, and community members collaborated to retrieve the victims from the debris, some of whom suffered severe burns. The authorities have since held the truck driver for further investigation and possible legal proceedings.

Eyewitnesses reported that the van ignited after the collision, presumably due to the extreme impact, which further complicated the rescue and recovery process.

Captain Tupas pointed out that fatal road accidents are unfortunately common in the Philippines. These incidents are often worsened by a lack of adherence to traffic regulations, aging vehicles, and risky driving conditions, such as insufficient safety markers and barriers on mountainous and isolated routes.

Prior to this, on February 21, 2024, 15 individuals lost their lives in the central Philippines when the truck they were in tumbled into a ravine while en route to a livestock market on Negros Island.

In another incident in December 2023, at least 16 people died, and 12 were injured when a passenger bus failed to negotiate a downhill curve in a hilly village in the central Philippines and plunged into a deep ravine.

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