Two buses ferrying athletes, sports officials for SEA Games collide in Philippines

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-30 18:30:42|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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MANILA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Two buses ferrying athletes and sports officials from Laos and Vietnam to the 30th Southeast Asian Games collided in Bocaue town in Bulacan province on Saturday afternoon while on the way to the Philippine arena, the venue for the opening ceremony of the biennial regional meet.

Bulacan police chief Colonel Chito Bersaluna said one bus was carrying 40 participants from Laos while the other bus was carrying 42 participants from Vietnam.

He said no one was hurt in the accident that happened near the toll gate of the North Luzon Expressway in Bocaue.

The 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) will formally open on Saturday night, signaling the start of the biennial regional multi-sport event that is scheduled to run until Dec. 11.

"We wish all participating athletes the best as they compete for honors for themselves and the countries they proudly represent," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the opening ceremony of the 2019 SEA Games held at the Philippine arena just outside Metro Manila.

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose son is a player on the sultanate's polo team, will also attend the opening ceremony.

"We are undaunted by the initial snafus in logistics which were unfortunately aggravated by the proliferation of fake news, as we commence with excitement - and hope for a historic milestone - in hosting the 30th SEA Games," Panelo said.

"At any rate, we wish to reiterate the country's apology for whatever inconvenience the athletes went through, as well as this administration's commitment to probe whatever irregularities there were, if any, in the preparation of the event," he added.

According to the SEA Games organizers, this year's SEA Games is the biggest yet as it features 56 sports and 543 events spread across 39 venues in Clark in Pampanga, Subic in Zambales, Tagaytay City, La Union province, Batangas province and Metro Manila.

About 27,000 police have been deployed to secure the venues during the competition which will be participated by more than 8,000 athletes and officials from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Singapore and Vietnam who will participate in the biennial sports meet, the organizers said.

The SEA Games will be held amid reports that a potentially strong Typhoon Kammuri is expected to make a land fall between Saturday night and Sunday morning in the Philippine main Luzon island where most of the sports events are being held.

The state weather bureau said the typhoon, the 20th to lash the country this year, is expected to drench parts of Luzon and Visayas region from Monday to Wednesday.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the bureau said the eye of the typhoon was seen 1,220 km east of Southern Luzon packing sustained winds of 150 km per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 185 kph. The typhoon is moving west southwest at 15 kph, the bureau added.