Tragic Bus Accident in Negros Occidental Claims Life of Teacher, Injures 34 Others

Tragic Bus Accident in Negros Occidental Claims Life of Teacher, Injures 34 Others

In a heartbreaking incident last Friday at 5:40 p.m., a bus accident in Purok Talus, Barangay Igmaya-an, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, resulted in the death of a 40-year-old female teacher and injuries to 34 others. The victims, mostly educators from Paglaum Village Elementary School in Bacolod, were returning from a team-building event when the tragedy struck.

Maria Laarni Pornan, head of Bacolod City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, confirmed that 32 of the injured individuals were fellow teachers from the same school. The bus, which is owned by the Bacolod city government, encountered a catastrophic brake failure while descending from Kilometer 40 to Kilometer 41, leading to the vehicle toppling onto its left side.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez disclosed in a separate interview that the deceased teacher tragically lost her life after standing up in a panic as the bus was falling. The local police have launched a full investigation to determine the specifics of the brake failure that caused the accident.

The bus had 36 passengers aboard at the time of the accident, including the deceased teacher, an unharmed driver, a bus helper, 32 teachers, and possibly a student who may have been a child of one of the passengers. According to reports, the group had spent the day at Sipaway Island in San Carlos City for a team-building activity before heading back to Bacolod.

Emergency services swiftly transported all injured parties to three different hospitals within Bacolod City. Among the injured, 11 are reported to be in serious or critical condition, while 15 are less critically injured, and eight were able to walk away from the accident with minor injuries.

The bus driver, identified as 59-year-old Nelmo Gonzaga from Bacolod City, has been detained by the police at the Don Salvador Benedicto Police Station pending further investigation.

This tragic event has cast a shadow over the community, prompting an outpouring of support for the victims and their families. Local authorities are urging drivers and transportation companies to adhere strictly to vehicle maintenance schedules to prevent such accidents in the future.