Seventeen people killed in Philippines 'killer curve' bus accident

A passenger bus in the Philippines lost control and plunged into a deep ravine on Tuesday afternoon, killing 17 people and injuring 11 others.

The bus was negotiating a downhill “killer curve” in the central province of Antique when its brakes failed, officials said.

Seven of the wounded in the accident were in critical condition at a local hospital, while four were stable and recovering.

The bus was driving down the winding mountain road when the driver, who was among those killed, lost control after the brakes failed. The bus smashed onto a concrete railing and then fell 30 metres into the ravine.

“The driver was repeatedly sounding his horn because he had apparently lost control of the bus before it plummeted into the ravine,” Ronniel Pabustan, an Antique provincial crisis responder, told The Associated Press.

Dozens of rescuers, including police, army troops and provincial emergency responders, worked to release the victims from the wreckage.

They used stretchers and ropes to bring the victims up the ravine in an hours-long rescue. Retrieval work carried on late into the night.

“It’s so tragic and painful because this happened close to Christmas,” Mr Pabustan said, adding that among the dead was a baby, who remained unidentified.

The search ended overnight. Provincial officials urged village leaders to alert emergency personnel if they find any more victims at the site of the accident, a thickly wooded area at the bottom of the ravine.

Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines because of weak enforcement of traffic laws and dangerous road conditions, including inadequate safety signs and barriers.