Manila: Seven students, including a former member of a popular television dance group, were killed after a flash flood swept a national park in Bulacan province north of the Philippine capital on Wednesday afternoon.

The body of 26-year-old former EB Babe dancer Maiko Bartolome was the last of the remains to be recovered by rescue and retrieval workers of the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the army on Thursday, hours after she and six other students of the Bulacan State University had gone missing after a flash flood struck the Madlum River in historic Biak-na-Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan.

A sudden downpour, caused by a thunderstorm, had triggered massive flooding in the cave complex in the adjoining river as rainwater came rushing down the mountains. The area was once used by Filipino rebels fighting Spanish and later, American colonial forces more than a hundred years ago.

Executive Officer Liz Mungcal of the Bulacan PDRRMO said nine students had initially been declared missing but two had been rescued and were being treated at a nearby hospital.

Locals said the river was notorious for strong currents following heavy rains.

In the case of Bartolome, an army official interviewed by the GMA Network television said her body was found trapped beneath an underwater crevice.

Aside from Bartolome the other women who died were Helena Marcelo, Michelle Banzo, Jeanette Rivera, Medel Navarro, while the deceased male students were listed as Mikhail Alcantara and Sean Alejo.

The report said Alejo had rescued the two survivors.

Due to its historical significance and natural beauty, Biak-na-Bato (Split Boulder in Filipino) National Park is popular among students, especially in the Central Luzon area.

The pupils were on the second day of their two-day field trip in Biak-na-Bato to fulfil their academic requirements for their tourism course when tragedy struck.

Investigations showed the students were having their photos taken in the area when the waters suddenly rose.

Bulacan Governor Hermino Sy-Alvarado has ordered the Biak-na-Bato off-limits to visitors in the meantime to prevent a repeat of the tragedy while investigations are being carried out.

Several years ago, environmental groups had aired concerns over mining operations taking place in the area near Biak-na-Bato. This prompted the government to take action an ban such operations in the area.