(UPDATED) TWO persons were killed while 26 others were wounded when a bus carrying students fell into a 10-feet deep canal in Sitio Bunga, Barangay Nicolas, Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro on Saturday evening.

Occidental Mindoro Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Romie Estepa said based on initial investigation the driver of the Charm travel and tour bus with plate number RNJ-324, which was carrying 44 passengers who were student athletes and staff of the Rizal University System in Morong, Rizal, lost control of the vehicle when it lost its break and fell into the canal.

He said the passengers were on their way to attend the Southern Tagalog Regional Association State Colleges and Universities Olympics in San Jose town.

“Meron kasing kalsada dito na from Oriental going to Occidental matarik ang gradient nun may mga paliko pa at matarik hindi normal na tarik kaya kapag hindi mo kabisado mahirap. Habang pababa yung bus ang unahan niya lulan din mga estudyante, magkakasama sila nawalan siya ng preno at imbes na banggain nya ‘yung coaster van niliko niya kaya siya nahulog (There's a road from Oriental to Occidental that's steep and if you're not familiar with the place, it would be difficult. While the bus was driving downwards, its front was occupied by students, they lost its brake and instead of hitting a coaster van, the driver eluded the bus then fell into the canal),” he said.

“Ongoing kasi ‘yung construction dun sa area na ‘yun inaayos ‘yung canal (There's an ongoing construction of a canal in the area of the accident),” he added.

The casualties of the bus crash were identified as Elmer Decillo, 61, sports director of the said university and Jonathan Penada, 51, the Rizal University System campus director.

The 20 injured persons who were rushed to San Jose District Hospital and undergoing medical treatment are the following:

- Reynica Lapure Pitular, 18, student, Binangonan

- Jaya Icaonapo Sarausos, 20, Binangonan

- Jomico Hann Perpetua, 20, student, Morong

- Kimuel Joshua Sabono San Juan, 25, student, Cardona

- Angelito Bonifacio Fernando, 38, physician, married, Antipolo City

- Mary Jane Odiver Ancog, 19, student, Rodriguez

- Ivan Miguel Raquia Cuyong, 20, student, Binagonan

- Lovely Jane Cerafica Santiago, 21, student, Binagonan

- Krystel Nillosca Anore, 23, student, Binangonan

- Daisy An Collado Morgado, 19, student, Binangonan

- Rosell Portugal Serapica, 20, student, Binangonan

- Jacky Quintinita Pascu, 22, Binagonan

- Nathan Francis Hernandez Esguerra, 20, San Rafael, Rodriguez

- Karl Ryel Valerica Valle, 20, student, Binangonan

- Maria Cristina Lestina, 25, student, Binagonan

- Jake Pagayan Bagon, 22, student of Payatas, Quezon

- Joven Loyola Gapas, 20, resident of Antipolo

- Jerome Espinosa Juanico, 25, student, Angono

- Marian Castro, 41, nurse, Tanay

- Jomel Alejo Tomas, 39, married, conductor

Other four injured victims, who were treated at Westmin Hospital in San Jose, are:

- Adrian Pascual Maniaol, sports coordinator, 40, married, Rodriguez

- Renato Francisco De Lemon, budget officer, 55

- Mariano Cavanza Tulod, 24, student, Cardona

- Julieann Pareja Castro, 19, student of Tayuman

The two injured victims who were rushed to Calapan District Hospital for further medical treatment:

- Mary Ann De Castro

- Maricel Maniaol, 39

He said they are now conducting operations to get the driver of the bus identified as Juluis Beleno who went missing after the incident.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has issued a moratorium on field trips and other educational tours in all higher educational institutions due to the bus accident in Tanay Rizal which resulted in the killing of at least 15 people, mostly students; however, Ched lifted the moratorium on August and issued a new guidelines to ensure the safety particularly of the students during the conduct of the tour. (SunStar Philippines)