_freeman
^

Semirara tragedy: Search for 5 missing miners hampered by new landslides

Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) - February 19, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - There were no signs of life yet as the search and retrieval operations continued for the five missing miners following the landslide at a mining site in Semirara Island that killed five of the 13 workers, three of whom had survived so far.

Retrieval operations for the bodies of the five miners still trapped in the Panian mining pit of Semirara were temporarily suspended Monday after two new landslides occurred at the same site due to rainy weather, according to a GMA7 report.

But Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr., Police Regional Office-6 director, yesterday said he received information that the members of the search and retrieval team had reached the area where the workers were supposedly located at the time of the landslide.

“But there was no body or sign of life,” he said, adding that, most likely, the victims got washed away when the gush of 30 to 40-meter mud slithered the mine site.

The still missing miners were mining foreman Leovigildo Porras, 50, of Sultan Kudarat; Jan Riel Planca, 28, of Caluya; Randy Tamparong, 30, of Davao del Sur; Richard Padernilla, 26, of Miag-ao, Iloilo; and Junjie Gomez, 19, of Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro.

The Department of National Defense has sent five K-9 units to Antique to help look for the missing miners, but authorities have lesser hope that they survived the incident.

Local authorities admitted they find it hard to get an updated information on the ongoing search and retrieval operations. Broderick Train, head of the Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, however said they rely on the competency of the SCMC to do the search and retrieval operations.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the landslide occurred at 11:54 p.m. of Feb. 13 at the Panian mining pit of the Semirara Coal Mining Corp.(SCMC) in Caluya, Antique. Rescued were Marjun Catoto, 23; Adrian Climar, 29; and Leonardo Sojor, 40.

The death toll at this time remained at five, whose bodies were earlier recovered: Abner Lim, 39, of Caluya, Antique; Joven Hocate, 31, of Iloilo City; George Bragat, 30, of Zamboanga City; Efren Equiza, 28, of Caluya; and Anthony Siblet, 26, of Miag-ao, Iloilo.

Families of the dead workers expressed hope that SCMC management will justly compensate them for the loss of their loved ones.

On the other hand, in a press statement, the Office of Civil Defense-6 said Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla had a meeting with SCMC officials at Semirara Island.

Also, DOE will organize an investigating body consisting of technical people to conduct the probe. The Municipal Welfare and Social Development Office (MSWDO) of Caluya town already started the conduct of counseling to the families of the victims. —with reports from GMA7 News (FREEMAN)

ABNER LIM ADRIAN CLIMAR AGRIMERO CRUZ ANTHONY SIBLET ANTIQUE PROVINCIAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE BRODERICK TRAIN BUT CHIEF SUPT CALUYA DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE EFREN EQUIZA SEMIRARA ISLAND
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with