BACOLOD, Philippines — A farm truck carrying villagers drove off a cliff in the central Philippines on Wednesday in an accident that left at least 14 passengers dead, police said.

Three other people on the truck, including the driver, were seriously injured in the midday accident in Mabinay town in Negros Oriental province, police spokesperson Lt. Stephen Polinar said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, but the driver initially told an investigator that something was wrong with the brakes and he lost control of the truck, which veered off the concrete road and plummeted into a 40-meter- (131-foot) deep ravine, Polinar told The Associated Press by telephone.

The mountainous region has experienced heavy rains in the past two days and the road may have been slippery, he said.

Most of the passengers were traveling to a village to buy pigs and other farm animals, Polinar said.

Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines because of weak enforcement of traffic laws, rickety vehicles and inadequate road safety railings and signs especially in the countryside.

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