20 dead as bus collides with van in northern Philippines

Philippine police say 20 people died when a passenger bus collided head-on with a van carrying people on the way to Christmas Mass at a popular church in the country's north.

Police Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula says all those killed in Monday's pre-dawn collision in Agoo town were in the smaller van. Another 10 van passengers, along with the driver and 17 other occupants of the bus were injured.

Police say the van passengers were bound for Our Lady of Manaoag, a Roman Catholic church in northern Pangasinan province that has long been popular among pilgrims and Catholics praying for the sick and impoverished.

Rickety passenger buses and jeeps, lack of safety signs, poor law enforcements and reckless driving have been blamed for many road tragedies in the Philippines.