AN old bridge in Loboc River in Loay, Bohol, collapsed on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least four people and injuring 16 others, a Police Regional Office 7 (PRO7) report said yesterday.
PRO7 director, Brigadier General Roque Edgardo Vega said that confirmed dead as a result of the Clarin Bridge collapse were Austrian national Michael Osuchan, 30, a transient resident of Panglao municipality; Emilia Gemina, 65, of Bgy. Villalimpia in Loay; Epifanny Oñada, 29, of Tagbilaran City; and Arnel Silos, 33, a tour bus driver from Dauis, Bohol.
All victims were declared dead by an attending physician shortly after they were plucked out from the collapsed bridge in Bgy. Poblacion Ubos past 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Police, Coast Guard, local government workers, and civilian volunteers rescued 16 survivors, some of them tourists, including Julia Ouschan, 30, the wife of the Austrian fatality.
The eldest of the survivors was described as a 60-year-old resident of Panglao, while the youngest is a 29-year-old from Poblacion Ibabao in Loay.
Brig. Gen. Vega said that an investigation conducted by the Loay Municipal Police Station led by Captain Geronima Conarco showed that the victims were on board several vehicles traversing the bridge before the incident.
One of the vehicles turned out to be a delivery truck carrying sand and gravel set to be utilized to finish another adjoining bridge.
“The weight of the truck and its cargo caused serious tension to the bridge that caused its collapse,” the official said.
He said that the four fatalities were stuck inside their respective vehicles, which drowned down the river. The survivors were rescued by the 1st responders and taken to local health clinics.
Two of them were transferred to the Tagbilaran City Hospital for further treatment.
Brig. Gen. Vega said his men are coordinating with Loay Mayor Hilario Ayuban on their ongoing “search-and-rescue operation” and salvage efforts.
He added that they are also talking with the management of the Amorita Resort in Panglao to ascertain the identities of their other guests who may have been victims of the bridge collapse.