MANILA – Five Filipinos were killed in a car crash near Picton, New Zealand over the weekend, the Philippine Embassy in Wellington confirmed on Tuesday night.
Two survivors are Filipinos but one sustained grave injuries. Two other non-Filipinos were killed in the crash.
The nine victims were on their way home from a funeral when their van collided head-on with a truck along State Highway 1, Mount Pleasant in Marlborough.
Reports said among those who died was a baby.
In a statement, the embassy said it has been in contact with the local authorities since receiving the report from the New Zealand Interpol on Sunday morning.
Embassy staff visited the survivors to offer help and extend their condolences.
"The Embassy is coordinating with DFA Headquarters as to the needs of the victims and their families. The devastating news has shaken New Zealand as a nation, especially the local Filipino community. The Embassy reiterates its assurances of its readiness to assist," it said.
Meanwhile, it appealed to the public to respect the bereaved family's privacy, noting that the survivors and kin "are at present in a most vulnerable predicament." (PNA)