Deadly Bus Crash in Balamban – Cebu – Photos and Video

Balamban Bus Crash CebuinformerPolice are eying human error as the possible cause in Sunday’s fatal bus crash in Balamban, Cebu that killed 21 people, most of whom were Iranians. Initial investigation showed driver Jaime Batoon, who owned the J&G Tours bus, was unfamiliar with the Trans-Central Highway on Barangay Cansomoroy and was only pitching in after failing to find a driver for Sunday’s trip.

Residents living near the crash site said the driver took a great risk in passing through the steep highway while bringing a tour bus full of people. Initial reports said at least 50 people were on board the bus en route to a picnic when the bus lost control and fell off the 30-meter ravine. The Filipino driver and owner and 19 Iranians died, and 26 people were injured, said regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Wilson Feria. Nine of an estimated 55 passengers were unaccounted for still, but the military was double-checking because it was unclear exactly how many people were on board, Feria said.

Most of the passengers were Iranian medical students from Cebu Doctors University, University of Visayas and University of San Carlos, all in Cebu. They were identified by relatives and through their IDs, Digal said. It was not clear if the Iranians were involved in a medical mission or went for an outing at one of several resorts in and around Cebu.

Balamban Bus Crash 2 CebuinformerLani O’Neres, regional police director of Cebu district 7, earlier said the bus’ brakes might have malfunctioned while navigating a sharp curve on the highway, causing it to hit the railing and fall into a 100-foot (30-meter) ravine.

Villagers and police pulled bodies from the mangled wreckage at the rocky bottom of the ravine, while a backhoe sent by a nearby Japanese shipbuilding company attempted to lift the bus up, Feria said. Cables were attached but the bus was too heavy and there was a danger the backhoe might be pulled down, he added. The bus had an ominous plate number: DWZ-666, the “Number of the Beast” in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board imposed a 30-day suspension on Cattleya Bus Tours, which promotes the services of J&G Tours. News of the accident has reached the Iranian embassy in Manila. Poorly maintained vehicles and roads, along with inadequate safety signs, railings, training and weak traffic law enforcement, are blamed for many deadly accidents in the Philippines.

Knowing the driving habits especially in Cebu it comes as no surprise. Especially bus drivers drive like crazy, maybe this accident leads to stricter enforcement of the traffic rules? Probably not. But at least drivers could be checked regularly on the road since many of them use shabu or other drugs rather regularly. Do you want your bus driver to be stoned while he is driving you around the mountains?

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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. maybe we should wait for all the facts to come in, before conjecturing (in your last paragraph). this is really sad news, and adding such insinuations only muddles the facts that are still being investigated, and may add to the confusion and worry of relatives and friends of the victims, especially those who have not heard anything about them. 

    1. Jootzman, we completely agree with you – this is very sad news.The last paragraph is not saying anything about the reason of this accident. It mentions the driving habits in Cebu in general.
      And it is really bad that even accidents like this one don't  lead to any reactions from the officials. If you live in Cebu then have a look into the eyes of bus drivers or jeepney drivers. You probably know what I mean (judging by your name – Jootzman – you know a thing or two how stoned people look at you).
      There are some rules, which are definitely not enough. But even those lax rules are not enforced. How come so many Jeepney drivers are seen smoking while driving? It's not allowed!How come a Jeepney driver can cross a junction with a red traffic light? And don't even mention indicating while changing a lane, never happens.Bus drivers have speed limits like other drivers too, but do they care about those limits? It doesn't look like.
      And the worst part of it is that all those things happen under the eyes of the so called "Traffic Enforcers".
      So yes Jootzman, it is a very sad news, especially given the fact that it might have been avoided with a better implementation of traffic rules in Cebu.

  2. I totally agree if traffic officers have done their job properly this kind of accidents will be avoided, not only in cebu but all over the Philippines, I guess with this accident ningas kugon n nmn mga opisyal s atin, dmi pagbbgo pag ala n s icp mga tao blik s dti n nmn.


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