2 miners die, another hurt as tunnel collapses in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Two mine workers were killed while another was hurt after being trapped for hours inside a small-scale mine tunnel that collapsed Sunday in an upland village in Kiamba town, Sarangani Province.

Venancio Wata III, operations team leader of the Sarangani Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, on Monday said the victims were working inside a tunnel in sitio Banawag in Barangay Tablao, Kiamba when it suddenly caved in early Sunday.

He said the collapsed tunnel was among the structures operating illegally at the mountainous boundaries of Kiamba and Maitum towns.

He identified the trapped workers as Danilo Marquizo, Elizer Marquizo and Nelson Pastrana, all residents of Barangay Malandag in Malungon, Sarangani.

Rescuers from the Maitum municipal police station led Sr. Insp. Rodel Javison, Bureau of Fire Protection-Maitum and the Kiamba search and rescue team immediately responded to the scene and recovered the victims at around 12:35 p.m, Wata said.

Wata identified the dead victims as Elizer Marquizo and Nelson Pastrana.

“They were declared dead upon arrival at the Maitum municipal hospital,” he told PNA in a phone interview.

Wata said Danilo Marquizo suffered from hypothermia and is currently undergoing treatment at the same hospital.

During the rescue operation, two members of the team identified as Yanyan Ungat and Marvin Ilao, both residents of Barangay New La Union in Maitum, were also rushed to the hospital after complaining of severe headaches.

“They complained of severe headaches as a result of the suffocation,” he said.

The local governments of Kiamba and Maitum launched a series of crackdowns against illegal small-scale gold mining activities in the area, but they continued to thrive as operators resorted to clandestine operations. PNA-northboundasia.com