At least 14 dead as Philippine passenger van falls off cliff


Philippine police say at least 14 people have died when the brakes of an overloaded passenger van failed while cruising a winding road, sending it down a ravine in a northern mountain province.

Police Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana says 24 other passengers, including the driver, were injured Tuesday afternoon in Balbalan town in Kalinga province. Some of the dead were poor elderly villagers returning home after collecting government cash dole-outs from a bank.

Police say 13 passengers were pinned to death while one other died on the way to a hospital after being retrieved from the 80-meter deep ravine.

Road accidents in the region have been blamed on weak enforcement of traffic rules, poorly maintained public transport and long-neglected upland roads.