Issue of September 16, 2018
Mt. Province

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Kalinga mourns death of 14 elders
by Harley F. Palangchao

FATAL -- Police investigators gather more pieces of evidence beside the jeepney that plunged into a ravine in Balbalan, Kalinga causing the death of 14 passengers and injury of 26 others, mostly senior citizens. -- Kalinga PNP photo

People in Balbalan, Kalinga are mourning the death of 14 senior citizens who died in a vehicular accident along the town’s highway on Sept. 11.

Twenty-six other individuals were also seriously injured after the passenger jeepney they hired to get their government subsidized pension plunged into an 80-meter ravine on their way back to Barangay Dao-angan.

The vehicle with license plate WRR 535 owned and driven by Francisco Gumaad Jr. was hired by the senior citizens to ferry them to Poblacion from their village to get their pension that day.

The accident happened when the senior citizens along with other passengers were on their way back to the village after the vehicle’s engine shut off, causing the driver to lose control of the steering wheel until the vehicle plunged into the ravine.

Those who died on site were identified as Victorino Banglagan, 67; Soledad Dammay, 70; Eliza Amoga, 70; Rosario Badong, 65; Isabel Bagni, 67; Agida Palangdao, 62; Lolita Latawan, 68; William Gamongan, 65; Leota Maday, 72; Angelina Benito, 62; Benjamin Badong, 68; Terresa Dulansi 70; and Annie Baluga, 45.

Sixty-seven year old Martin Canao died while being treated at the hospital.

Paramedics, rescue groups and personnel of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine Army, and civilian volunteers brought more than 20 injured passengers to the Kalinga Western District Hospital.

The injured were identified as Arnel Banglagan, 45; Anna Bagwingan, 75; Laika Barbosa 4; Imelda Cuzon, 52; Manuel Banguingan, 70; Caridad Palicas,72; Jennifer Esteban, 40; Irene Dammay, 60; Pedro Maday, 82; Agida Palangdao, 42; Lolita Gullipis, 77; Mercedez Lingbao, 62; Joselyn Gannisi, 64; Conchita Canao, 61; Socorro Naganag, 56; Sonia Barbosa, 44; Necita Daggay, 61; Concordia Manadao, 61; Bartolome Balcanao, 85; Patricio Maday, 66; Edmund Duguit,45; Mariano Palicas,70; Nanette Gamongan, 61; Leonarda Dumaguing, 69 at Francisco Gumaad Jr., 36.

The police report did not indicate if the jeepney, which has been totally wrecked, was overloaded.

A standard passenger jeepney can carry at least 21 passengers but it’s been a common sight in the countryside that the top carrier is also loaded with passengers.

Concerned government offices led by the local government unit of Balbalan already extended initial assistance to the families of the fatalities and the injured passengers.

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