MANILA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Three people have died in a three-car crash in Bohol province in the central Philippines, 26 others critically injured, a local emergency response official has said.

Mark Sidney Galia, chief of Tarsier 117 Telephone and Radio System Integrated Response said the accident happened around 3 p.m. Thursday when a passenger jeepney travelling to Loay town, swerved to the opposite lane before crashing into an oncoming firetruck and a private car along a highway in Tagbilaran City.

The jeepney hit a waiting shed, fell into a cliff and plunged into the Tagbilaran Bay, he said, adding two died at the scene while another died at a local hospital.

The drivers of the three vehicles that figured in the accident were not injured, Galia added.

The elongated, flatbed passenger jeepneys are the most popular mode of public transport in the Philippines. These iconic vehicles have been plying the Philippine streets for decades.

Many accidents in the country are blamed on these poorly maintained vehicles.

There is an ongoing government effort to modernize the jeepneys and remove the rickety and old jeepneys from the streets for good.