20 dead after Xmas mass bus crash in Philippines

Twenty pilgrims have died after their bus was involved in a head-on collision while travelling to Christmas Day mass in the Philippines.

Local media are reporting a five-month-old baby, a seven-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl are among those killed.

The dead are believed to be part of the same extended family, AFP reports.

They were travelling in a small bus, called a jeepney, to an early morning service at the famous Our Lady of Manaoag church in northern Philippines.

The buses which crashed in the Philippines were extensively damaged.
Image: The buses which crashed in the Philippines were extensively damaged.

Police said the jeepney crashed at 3.30am (7pm GMT on 24 December) into a larger bus in the town of Agoo, La Union, 125 miles north of the capital Manila.

Chief Inspector Roy Villanueva said the smaller vehicle had veered out of its lane to overtake.

The driver and 19 passengers were “dead on arrival”, he said.

Another 10 passengers on the bus were injured and taken to the local hospital.

The jeepney’s engine came out of the front of the vehicle, which was largely crushed.

A file picture of a jeepney bus like that which crashed
Image: A file picture of a jeepney bus like that which crashed

The driver of the other bus was unharmed but 15 passengers and a conductor sustained minor injuries.

The Philippines, a majority Catholic country, has experienced several devastating incidents in the run up to Christmas Day.

More from philippines

On Saturday morning at least 37 people died in a shopping mall fire in the southern city of Davao.

A tropical storm towards the end of the week killed more than 200 people, with the death toll expected to rise as villages flood.

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