Death toll in Pampanga river parade accident climbs to three; nine others injured

APALIT, Pampanga — Police reported the death of another participant in the Pampanga river parade, bringing into three the death toll in last Tuesday’s tragedy here.

Investigators identified the latest victim as a certain Charben of Betis, Guagua.

A number of motorized boats took part in a fluvial parade serving as main highlight of the celebration of the town fiesta and in commemoration of a patron locally known as Apung Iru.

Instead, what was witnessed in the town fiesta was a disaster after a protruding metal pole in one of the boats hit the high tension wire of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines at the height of the parade in Barangay Sulipan.

Explosion ensued and occupants of the said boat – a fishing vessel type made up of wood and powered by Fuso 4DR5 Engine -- were electrocuted. The 13 passengers got electrocuted, unfortunately three of them died.

The first two fatalities were identified as alias Nyote Ponsenes, a male, 40 and native of Manila; Ricky, 24, single and resident of Purok 5, Barangay Sucad, Apalit, Pampanga.

The cadavers of the deceased were later claimed by their respective relatives.

Those who sustained minor injuries were identified as Maria Christina Javier-Torres, 58, Mia, 11, Dwayne, 11, Elizabeth Figueras Javier, 41, Catherine Torres, 32 Kengkay Sordan, 34; Ira, 16, Jade, 15, Alexandria, 12, who were rushed to different hospitals in this municipality by MDRRMO Rescuer.

The boat participated in the town Fiesta fluvial which is being operated by the boat captain identified as Felix Mabongga Dela Peña along with five crew members namely Israel Dela Peña y Ferrer, Pedro Obeneta, Ryan Casama y Dematera, Ramento and Gilbert De Jaime who are all native and residents of Barangay Tangos, Navotas City.

“I have already instructed the concerned Chief of Police to conduct a thorough investigation on this unfortunate incident in order to eventually identify who is responsible for proper disposition of the case,” PRO3 Regional Director Brigadier Gen Matthew P Baccay said.