SEVEN people died, five of whom are Filipinos, after their van collided head-on with a truck near Picton, New Zealand over the weekend, the Philippine Embassy in Wellington confirmed on Tuesday night.
The Embassy appealed to the public to respect the bereaved family’s privacy, noting that the survivors and kin “are at present in a most vulnerable predicament.”
Two other Filipinos survived the incident. One sustained serious injuries but in stable condition.
The nine victims were on their way home from a funeral when their van crossed the road’s centreline colliding with a truck along State Highway 1, Mount Pleasant in Marlborough.
In a statement, the embassy said it has been in contact with the local authorities since receiving the report from the New Zealand Interpol on Sunday morning.
“The Embassy is coordinating with DFA Headquarters as to the needs of the victims and their families. The devastating news has shaken New Zealand as a nation, especially the local Filipino community. The Embassy reiterates its assurances of its readiness to assist,” it said.
Embassy staff visited the survivors at the Wellington Regional Hospital to offer help and extend their condolences.