Ceres bus plunges into ravine in Antique; 17 confirmed dead

ANTIQUE. At least 17 people were confirmed dead after a Ceres bus plunged into a ravine in Hamtic town, Antique Tuesday afternoon, December 5, 2023.
ANTIQUE. At least 17 people were confirmed dead after a Ceres bus plunged into a ravine in Hamtic town, Antique Tuesday afternoon, December 5, 2023. Photo from Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office-Urban Search and Rescue

(UPDATED) AT LEAST 17 people were confirmed dead after a Ceres bus plunged into a ravine around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 5, 2023, in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic town in Antique province.

The latest fatality expired around 3 a.m. Wednesday, said the Provincial Government in a press conference Wednesday morning, December 6, 2023.

Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said the Ceres bus with body number 6289 was carrying a total of 28 people when it fell off the 60 to 70 feet deep ravine along what she described as a “killer curve” in Igbucagay.

The fatalities include the bus driver, conductor and line inspector, as well as two foreign nationals.

Of the 28 people onboard the bus, 17 were confirmed dead, four are in condition at Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in Antique and seven critically wounded passengers were rushed to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo for further medical treatment.

These are the names of the victims:


1. Wilmar Felipe Marcelino (Conductor - died in hospital)

2. Ricky Serios (Driver)

3. Jose Glen Fandagani (Inspector - died in hospital)

4. Jeanine Marquez

5. Nelson Espina

6. Tom Elizaga (died in hospital)

7. Ramon Enrique Salvani V

8. Francis John Cuarte Vuelga

9. Federica Singh

10. Zairon Alcala

11. Jim Andrei Jungco Secondes

12. Patrick Musomi

13. Fritzie Javellana

14. Jomarie Alcala (died in hospital)

15. Jevy Burdago (Inspector)

16. Wilber Billones De Llaba

17. 29-35-year-old male who remained unidentified


1. Ariane Mejia

2. Timothy James Quiachon

3. Dominic Jucaban

4. Juan Miguel Tejares

5. Ismael Apiparado

6. Nicolas Esisi (Kenyan)

7. Kim Zyren Dolloso Ramos


1. Mary Beth Santerva

2. Lorna Obeia

3. Christopher Simolava

4. Mica Marie Servano

PDRRMO head Broderick Train said that of the 17 fatalities, 13 died on the spot, including the bus driver, conductor, and inspector-on-duty. Four others died while receiving medical attention.

It added that the retrieval operation was halted Wednesday morning as all of the “visible bodies” have been retrieved.

The bus, though, has yet to be recovered from the crash site.

Initial investigation revealed that the driver lost control of the bus’ brakes as he was driving the Barangay Igbucagay National Road, sending the vehicle straight into the ravine. The bus was bound for Culasi Town in Antique from Iloilo City.

The barangay and municipal government units have been instructed to immediately notify the PDRRMO in case of any additional sightings of bodies.

The Bureau of Fire Protection-Antique, along with response teams from the municipalities of San Remigio, Sibalom, Tobias Fornier, San Dose De Buenavista, Patnongon, and Hamtic, responded to the incident.

Cadiao assured that the Provincial Government will shoulder all the hospital expenses for the victims and they will provide an initial P20,000 financial assistance to their families.

She added that they are already getting in touch with the relatives of the victims.

"For the families, it’s not right for me to say ‘don’t worry’. But we’d like to assure you that whatever hospitalization, medicines, and what they need, we will take care of that. ‘Di kamo magkabalaka," said Cadiao.

In a statement, the Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI) expressed apologies to the victims as it assured that it will cooperate with any investigations that will be conducted regarding the matter.

“In coordination with the LTFRB Region 6, the management has decided to voluntarily suspend all operations of the 12 remaining units under the franchise involving Case No. 11-VI-021-AK pending investigation, wherein the bus involved in the incident had been a part of,” it said.

“VTI will be providing financial assistance to the passengers and their families, as well as shouldering the medical and burial expenses. The management has assigned personnel to be on stand-by at the hospital for further updates and assistance. Rest assured that we are doing everything that we can to make sure that this is being handled properly and carefully. The management guarantees the riding public that we are taking all the appropriate steps to ensure that our buses are road-worthy and well-maintained,” it added.

Cadiao appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the retrofitting of the roads where the incident happened, noting that several accidents already happened there over the past years due to its delicate curves.

The PDRRMO said that the cause of the incident Tuesday is yet to be determined, stressing that investigation is ongoing. (Leo Solinap/Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)


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