Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Raymond Tribdino | posted December 16, 2013 08:53
Initial reports say it was overspeeding
At around 5m today, December 16 2013, a Don Mariano bus plying the Novaliches – Pacita, Complex (San Pedro, Laguna) route fell of the Skyway and landed on a closed van.
The accident occurred on the southbound lane on the stretch after Bicutan and before Sucat where an overspeeding Don Mariano bus lost control and fell on the West Service Road, landing on a closed van.
Preliminary reports say 21 are dead, 3 from the closed van. Later in the day, the death toll increased to 22.
The West Service Road is temporarily closed to all vehicular traffic while all Southbound traffic on the SLEX from Nichols to Severina has been affected as well as Northbound from Alabang to Severina.
The injured were taken to Taguig District Hospital.
The driver of the Don Mariano bus, one Carmelo Calascas, was injured. An eyewitness driving a vehicle behind the bus, Irene Sisperez, told ABS-CBN that the bus was travelling over the 80 km/h speed limit set for public utility buses.
A spokesperson of the Skyway management was quick to state that the Skyway's crash railings follow international standards.
This incident is only the latest in a series of fatal mishaps involving buses and the elevated Skyway. In July 2011 a bus owned by Dimple Star Transport was reported to be 'racing' another bus. The driver of the Dimple Star bus lost control and crashed through the barrier, falling down onto the service road close to where today's incident occurred.
Back in 2007, despite the international standards of the Skyway toll road, then DOTC Assistant Secretary Thompson Lantion said that the suggestion to raise the railings of the Skyway must be seriously considered.
The crash barriers and guardrails have not been raised since.