Death toll rises as truck falls off cliff in southern Philippines

Rescue workers stand next to a flatbed truck that fell into a ravine in T’Boli town of South Cotabato on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (Rolly Aquino/Michael Acas/AFP)
Updated 17 September 2019

Death toll rises as truck falls off cliff in southern Philippines

  • Group had come from a swimming party at a beach in a neighboring town
  • Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines

MANILA: Twenty people, including children, were killed Tuesday in the southern Philippines when the flatbed truck they were riding in plummeted into a ravine, police said.

The vehicle was bringing a group of people home from a trip to the beach when the driver lost control near the town of T’boli in the latest deadly crash on the nation’s dangerous roads.

“Based on eyewitness accounts, the truck lost its brakes. We will conduct further investigations on the actual cause,” T’boli town police investigator George Tabayan said.

Police initially put the death toll at 15, but doctors said five of the 19 people taken to hospital for treatment later died, Tabayan said, updating an earlier tally.

The dead included children aged between one to six years old, with the driver among those injured, he added.

The group had come from a swimming party at a beach in a neighboring town and were on their way home when the accident occurred.

Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines, where inadequately maintained buses and poorly trained drivers form the backbone of land transport options.

In June, 13 people including a bride-to-be were killed when the truck they were riding on after attending a traditional pre-wedding ceremony rolled over on a mountain road.


India, China trying to end army standoff in Himalayas

Updated 05 June 2020

India, China trying to end army standoff in Himalayas

  • Indian officials said Chinese soldiers entered the Indian-controlled territory of Ladakh in early May at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts
  • China has objected to India building a road through a valley connecting the region to an airstrip, possibly sparking its move to assert control over territory

NEW DELHI: Indian and Chinese foreign ministry officials on Friday discussed the flaring of tensions on their disputed Himalayan border, where thousands of soldiers from the two countries have been facing off just a few hundred meters (yards) from each other for a month, an Indian official said.
The video conference came a day before generals in the Ladakh region are scheduled to meet at a border post to intensify efforts for a pullback to their pre-May positions in the region. The army officers have held a series of meetings in the past four weeks to break the impasse.
An External Affairs Ministry statement in New Delhi said both sides agreed that they should handle their differences through peaceful discussion "bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes.”
Indian officials say Chinese soldiers entered the Indian-controlled territory of Ladakh in early May at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts.
They said the Chinese soldiers ignored repeated verbal warnings to leave, triggering shouting matches, stone-throwing and fistfights.
China has sought to downplay the confrontation while providing little information. Indian media reports say that the two armies have moved artillery guns in the region.
China has objected to India building a road through a valley connecting the region to an airstrip, possibly sparking its move to assert control over territory along the border that is not clearly defined in places.
India and China fought a border war in 1962 and have been trying since the early 1990’s to settle their dispute without success.
In all, China claims some 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) of territory in India’s northeast, including the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh with its traditionally Buddhist population. India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau in the western Himalayas, including part of the Ladakh region.