The Bagumbayan bailey bridge that connects La Carlota and Bago cities in Negros Occidental collapsed as three vehicles with 16 passengers on board headed for an Iglesia ni Kristo church were crossing it at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, August 1.
A few of the 16 passengers suffered minor injuries that did not require hospital care, while a boy who is a resident of the area was treated as an outpatient, PLt. Joseph Jaro of the Bago City Police said Monday, August 2.
The bridge starts at Sitio Bagumbayan, Barangay Balabag in La Carlota City and ends in Barangay Jorge L. Araneta in Bago City, La Carlota Mayor Rex Jalando-on said.
Christopher Trupa, the driver of the Isuzu Crosswind that was one of the three vehicles on the bridge when it collapsed, said their convoy was delivering the belongings of their pastor assigned to a new Iglesia ni Kristo church in Barangay Jorge L. Araneta in Bago City.
They were following a tricycle that had just reached the Bago City side when the bridge suddenly collapsed, he said.
Trupa, who sustained a few scratches, said his Crosswind with six passengers on board was being followed by a car with one passenger and a Isuzu Fuego pickup with nine passengers who were all part of the Iglesia ni Kristo group when the bridge collapsed.
They were assisted by Iglesia ni Kristo members on the Bago side to get off the collapsed bridge to safety, he said.
As of Monday afternoon, two of the vehicles had been removed from the bridge, Jalando-on said.
The bridge can only carry one light vehicle at a time but no warning sign had been placed, he added.
The bridge that is under the jurisdiction of La Carlota City was built during the term of then Rep. Charlie Cojuangco of the fourth district about 20 to 25 years ago, the mayor said.
The bridge was said to have been made of recycled steel pulled out from the Mining Bridge in Bago City.
It was intended for tricycles and motorcycles only.
He recently asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to inspect its safety but they had not gotten to it yet, Jalando-on said.
About 250 households in Sitio Bagumbayan are affected by the collapse of the bridge.
Jalandoon has instructed the City Engineer’s Office to conduct an ocular inspection and recommend the best course of action to expedite the construction of a bridge.*