19 dead in Philippine pile-up

19 dead in Philippine pile-up

MANILA - Nineteen people were killed and dozens injured Saturday in a pile-up on an unlit highway in the Philippines involving three buses and four trucks, police said.

Pictures of the accident in Atimonan, 120 kilometres (75 miles) southeast of Manila, aired on ABS-CBN television showed at least 10 of the dead arranged side by side on one lane of the road, covered only by banana leaves.

One of the buses and one of the trucks had overturned.

"We have recovered 18 of the dead. We are in the process of recovering the remaining one who was pinned under one of the trucks," the Atimonan police commander, Chief Superintendent Jomar Yupio, told the station.

Atimonan police said in a statement that the accident was caused by the driver of a Manila-bound bus losing control of the vehicle before dawn.

As well as the 19 people killed, 34 others, many of them bus passengers, were injured, it added.

The driver of the runaway bus, who was unharmed, was placed under arrest, police said.

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