Teacher dies, 34 injured in DS Benedicto accident

The scene of the accident in Don Salvador Benedicto.* Michael Trinidad photo

A 40-year-old female teacher died and 34 were injured, when a Bacolod City government bus fell on its side at Purok Talus, Brgy. Igmaya-an, Don Salvador Benedicto town in Negros Occidental, 5:40 p.m. Friday, June 14.

Of the 34 injured, 32 were teachers, from the Palaum Village Elementary School in Bacolod, Maria Laarni Pornan, Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head, said.
The teacher who died panicked and stood up and was slammed when the bus fell on its side, Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said.

The bus was descending from Kilometer 40 to 41 when it its brakes failed and fell on its left side, the police reported.

Pornan said the bus had 36 passengers onboard – the teacher who died, the driver who was unharmed, his helper, 32 teachers and a student who could have been the child of one of the passengers.

The group had reportedly gone to Sipaway Island in San Carlos City for team building and were returning to Bacolod when the accident happened, she said.

Eleven passengers were in serious or critical condition, 15 were less critical and eight were described as walking wounded, Pornan said.

They were brought to three Bacolod hospitals.
The driver, Nelmo Gonzaga, 59, of Bacolod City is detained at the Don Salvador Benedicto Police Station.*

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