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SOGOD, SOUTHERN LEYTE – What was to be a weekend joyride with friends to the country’s tallest bridge quickly turned into a nightmare as 20 year old Lowela Agero reportedly jumped off the Agas-Agas bridge and plunged to her death 300 feet below.

According to her friends Lowela, a resident of barangay Abgao, Maasin City had invited them that morning to go to Sogod town to see the breathtaking bridge which is a favorite tourist destination. Once there however she had allegedly lagged behind them. Suspecting something was wrong, her companions said they tried to lure her away from the bridge’s ledge, but she resisted and pushed them away and jumped.

The Agas-Agas Bridge which is 300 feet high or the equivalent of a 30 story building was opened to the public on August 8, 2009 as a vital link of the Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon road network.

Many who attended Agero’s wake said her death could have been prevented if the bridge’s builders had installed proper safety measures.

“The only provincial employee there was the man managing the canteen and restrooms at the facility’s parking area” said a friend who had accompanied Lowela on that ill-fated day. Before the tragedy the provincial government and the Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry had unveiled a tourism plan which included transforming the bridge and its surroundings into an extreme sports venue with bungee jumping and zipline rappelling facilities to help attract tourists to the province.

After Agero’s death though many Southern Leyteños have expressed concern about the bridge’s inadequate safety measures and its lack of security from any terrorist attack.

One grieving relative of the deceased warned that “If some terrorist group should decide to blast the bridge to smithereens we would make world headlines again for yet another man-made mega-disaster. (By WOWIE REYES)





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