THIRTY of 40 students of Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) were injured after the minibus they were riding almost fell off a 500-foot ravine in the mountains of Dalaguete Friday morning.

The students, who are taking up vocational courses, were thankful that a tree stopped their minibus from falling.

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The NB Boy minibus, owned by Elmiro Buenaventura and driven by Randy Quivido, was headed towards the Don Bosco Retreat House in Mantalongon Friday morning.

Fr. Randy Figuracion, SDB, told Sun.Star Cebu the students onboard the bus were accompanied by Fr. Ruben Fernandez, SDB, who heads the retreat house, for a two-day retreat.

Flora Mae, Figuracion’s older sister, was also with the group, serving as one of the facilitators.

According to the investigation, when they passed a steep path in Sitio Zigzag, Barangay Obo at 10 a.m., the radiator of the bus overheated.

Quivido checked the radiator, which was located near the driver’s seat.

But when Quivido tried to loosen the cap of the radiator, hot water spurted, scalding his legs.

Due to the pain, Quivido jumped out of the driver’s seat, leaving the bus behind.

But he left the gear neutral, causing the vehicle to move back towards a cliff.

Due to panic, the students, including Figuracion and Fernandez, rushed towards the bus exit. Some of the students reportedly jumped out of the windows.

Flora Mae reportedly broke her nose after jumping, Figuracion said.

But the students remaining in the bus were saved after the vehicle hit an Agojo tree.

Residents, who witnessed the incident, called for help.

The students and the facilitators were taken to the Julio Cardinal Rosales Memorial Medical Center.

Those reported injured were Alvin John Delpino, 22; Marcelina Poligratis, 20; Dwight Gerald Tabar, 17; Alfie Romina, 17; Uldarico Arboso, 18; Jerome Sevilla, 18; Jedie Revilla, 17; Charlene Tripoli, 25; Geraline Sadora, 18; and Anthony Mangquiquis, 18.

Figuracion, in an interview, said a medical team, led by Fr. Ruben Carbiledo, SDB, was immediately sent to the town to check on the students.

He said DBTC will shoulder the medical expenses of the students. (JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)