Two teens rescued from blocked small scale mine in Benguet

BAGUIO CITY -– A minor and his 19-year-old companion were rescued unharmed after an immediate rescue operation of the Mankayan police office and Bureau of fire personnel, Tuesday afternoon after the main entrance of the mine tunnel in Mankayan, Benguet collapsed.

On Wednesday, Benguet Provincial Police Director Senior Superintendent Florante Camuyot identified those rescued as Harvey Tuali, 19 years old and “Romy” (not his real name), 16 years old, both of Tadian Mountain Province.

Camuyot reported that the main entrance of the small scale mine tunnel in Elizabeth, Taneg, Mankayan town in Benguet owned by the family of Dario Antonio, collapsed about 11:15 a.m. of May 9.

Investigation showed that the two, together with other miners, left the tunnel for a coffee break in the morning. Afterwards, the two went ahead of the others as their companions followed. It was at that time that the others saw the blocked entrance of the tunnel.

“They started excavating to help their companions while others sought for assistance from authorities,” Camuyot said.

Government first responders’ immediate response led to the rescue of the two at about 2:20 p.m., unharmed and were sent home after the incident.

Two years ago, in August 2015, the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CRDRRMC) declared the site as high risk area for landslide after 17 persons died due to a massive landslide at the height of typhoon Ineng. Those who perished were small scale miners who were working in the area. Liza Agoot/