World

14 dead as Philippine passenger van falls off cliff

LA TRINIDAD, Philippines — At least 14 people, mostly elderly villagers, died when the brakes of an overloaded passenger van failed while the van was traveling on a winding road, sending it down a ravine in a mountain province in the northern Philippines, police said Wednesday.

Twenty-four other passengers, including the driver, were injured in the accident Tuesday afternoon in Balbalan town in Kalinga province, said police Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana.

Most of the dead were retired villagers in their 60s and 70s returning home after collecting their government pension from a bank.

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Thirteen passengers were pinned to death while another died on the way to a hospital after being retrieved from the 262-foot-deep ravine, police said.

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Deadly road accidents in the region have been blamed on weak enforcement of traffic rules, poorly maintained public transport, and long-neglected upland roads dangerously perched beside deep ravines.

associated press