13 people dead as SUV falls into Philippine irrigation canal

BAGUIO, Philippines (AP) — Thirteen people, many of them children, drowned when their SUV plunged into an irrigation canal in a northern Philippine mountain city, police said Monday.

Police said 2 of the 15 occupants of the crowded SUV survived the accident with injuries. The driver was among the dead, who included seven children, officials said.

The victims were on their way to a locally popular lake when the accident occurred in Tabuk city in Kalinga province Sunday afternoon. Police were investigating the cause but initial reports indicate the driver, Soy Lope Agtulao, suddenly lost control and the SUV skidded off the road and plummeted into the canal.

Villagers and police brought the victims, mostly relatives, to two Kalinga hospitals.

Many regions of the country’s mountainous north are notorious for deadly road accidents due to dilapidated vehicles, lack of railings and road safety signages and poor enforcement of transport regulations.

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