Fifteen people were killed while eight others were seriously injured when the truck they were riding, on the way to a relative’s funeral, figured in an accident in Caibiran, Biliran, Saturday evening.

Killed on the spot were Honoria Regir, Lolita Yagon, Renato Escosis, Julito Yagon, Marianito Areglo, Neil Rosete, Anthony Montiadora, Lito Cabalquinto, Juanita Regir, Manilyn Rosete, Josephine Rosete, Junalyn Rosete, and Darwin Rosete, Chief Insp. Wilfredo Gervacio, officer at the Biliran Provincial Police Office, said.

Truck driver Nilo Rosete and other passengers, identified as Cornelia Montiadora, the incumbent chairwoman of Brgy. Villa Caneja, Naval; Antonio Rosete, Ben Fortuna, Raul Montiadora, Jennifer Callao, Ellen Areglo, Renalyn Escosis, Alicia Escosis, and Gerry Areglo were immediately taken to the Biliran Provincial Hospital.

One of the injured expired at the hospital while six others were transferred to a hospital in Tacloban City for further treatment, Gervacio said in a phone interview.

All victims are relatives and residents of Brgy. Villa Caneja, Naval, he said. A report from the local tourism organization BiliranIsland.com said another victim expired at the hospital, rasing the death toll to 15.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. along the cross-country road in Sitio Atay, Brgy. Cabibihan.

Nilo Rosete was driving the Isuzu Canter truck (GHP-109) from Naval, on the way to a relative’s funeral in Caibiran, when the brakes allegedly malfunctioned, Gervacio said.

“Upon reaching an inclined and curved area, the vehicle lost its brakes and swerved into the canal at the roadside and tumbled down,” Gervacio said, citing a report from the Caibiran Police. (John Roson)

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