Twenty worshipers were killed in a road accident in the northern Philippines as they traveled to a dawn Christmas service -- the latest in a string of deadly tragedies to beset the Southeast Asian country during the holiday period.
The accident occurred in the town of Agoo, some 200 km north of the capital Manila, when a public bus collided with a smaller private vehicle at around 3:30 a.m. local time Monday (2.30 p.m Sunday ET), Jason Falao, a senior police officer in Agoo, told CNN.
All the fatalities were aboard the smaller vehicle, an Isuzu SUV-style jeepney. It was carrying 29 people, taking the passengers to Manaoag church in the neighboring province of Pangasinan, a well-known pilgrimage destination in the heavily Catholic Philippines.
The jeepney was heading north when it overtook another vehicle and crashed into the bigger bus, Falao said. He added one person on the bus sustained minor injuries.
Jeepneys, informal minibuses, are a ubiquitous form of transportation throughout the Philippines.