Three Taal volunteers die in a car crash

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Three young men, who volunteered to deliver relief goods to evacuees in Batangas province, died from a car crash, police and a source close to the victims confirmed on Wednesday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — Just within hours after lending a helping hand to evacuees in Batangas province, three young men died in a tragic car crash, police and a source close to the victims confirmed on Wednesday.

Rio Abel, Maximino Alcantara and Darwin Lajara, all in their 20's, hit a trailer truck as they were driving along San Jose town at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a police report said. The accident took place hours after they visited an evacuation center.

The report said Abel and Alcantara died on the spot. Meanwhile, an acquaintance of Lajara said he died Wednesday morning while being treated at a hospital.

As the news broke, condolences poured on social media from friends and other netizens, mourning the loss of the three and calling them "heroes."

More than 40,000 residents remain in over 200 evacuation centers in Batangas and Cavite, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The council also reported that over 53,000 people have been affected by the volcano’s eruption.

Taal remains restive and volcanologists warn a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. As evacuees await their fate, authorities emphasize the need for donations and volunteers to help them overcome this crisis.

Stringer Ron Lozano contributed to this report.