At least 14 Filipinos were killed and scores were wounded on Monday afternoon when a coaster van they were riding in collided with a delivery truck in Saudi Arabia, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed in Manila on Wednesday.
Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesperson for the DFA, said the Philippine embassy in Riyadh has received a sketchy information about the accident.
“Our embassy in Riyadh is now in contact with the employer of the OFWs killed in the accident,” Jose said.
He said that initial information the Philippine embassy obtained from the company where the victims worked for, the OFWs were in a coaster van on their way to their accommodation in Al-Ahsa, a province in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, from their work site when the accident happened.
“Those injured are still at the intensive care unit of a hospital,” Jose said, noting that representatives of the company of the OFWs were still at the side to gather information and assist the injured.
Meanwhile, Migrante International expressed condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
Migrante said all the victims aboard the coaster van were employees of the Kentz Company, an engineering company based in Saudi Arabia.
“We are still coordinating with our chapters in Saudi Arabia to get complete information on our kababayans. We demand immediate action and assistance from the government,” Mic Catuira, Migrante International deputy secretary-general, said in a statement.
Catuira said the families of the victims should be entitled to immediate assistance and benefits from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), particularly repatriation costs, medical assistance, burial and other death benefits and scholarships for children of those who died.
“Aside from quick action from the government, they deserve to be given all these benefits entitled them,” she said.
Source and image: inquirer.net