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MANILA - (UPDATE, 1 p.m.) Fifteen persons were killed when the speeding truck that was carrying them to a funeral wake lost its brakes and fell on its side along the highway in Naval, Biliran Saturday, police said.
Chief Insp. Wilfredo Gervacio of Biliran police said an Isuzu canter-type truck (GHP-109) with "Mary Mac" markings was speeding downhill in the remote area of Sitio Atay, Barangay Cabibihan at 8:30 a.m. Saturday when the driver, Nilo Rosete, lost control of the vehicle due to alleged malfunctioning brakes.
Gervacio said the victims were reportedly going to attend a funeral of their kin when the accident happened.
He said 13 of the victims were crushed and killed instantly, while two others died while in hospital.
There were 28 people in the truck, with the survivors suffering various injuries.
Thirteen of the fatalities were identified as 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. The name of the 14th and 15th fatalities were not immediately available.
"We are a small community here and people know each other, so we are very saddened by this accident," provincial governor Gerry Espina told local radio.
"The victims were all related to each other and they were on their way to visit a wake of another relative."
Farm and construction trucks are commonly used to transport villagers in remote parts of the Philippines, and road accidents involving these vehicles as well as old passenger buses are fairly common.
In May, 11 people were killed when a speeding bus fell into a ravine in the northern town of Bontoc, while 41 were killed in a similar accident near a mountain resort town in 2010. With additional details from Agence France-Presse