TUBLAY, Benguet July 18 – Two pocket miners died due to alleged gas poisoning inside a mine tunnel at sitio Piket, barangay Caponga here late Friday evening.
Senior Inspector Ronnie Albino, chief of the Tublay Municipal Police Station, identified the victims as Francis Michael Sagudin, 39, a native of Batan. Kabayan, Benguet and Marlon Baristo Agsalo, 21, a native of Betwag, Kabayan, Benguet, both single and pocket miners.
Initial police investigation showed the victims, together with their colleagues, came out from their working area owned by Elvis Depaynos, 36, and a resident of Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet, at around 4 pm Friday when Agsalo decided to go back inside the mine tunnel as he wanted to check the state of his subway tunnels which might have been affected by the continuous rains.
Considering that Agasalo was not able to come out of the tunnel after over an hour, Sagudin decided to also go inside the tunnel to check on what happened to his companion but he also never came out that prompted their colleagues to conduct rescue operations where they found the lifeless bodies of the victims sprawled inside.
Rescuers immediately applied first aid treatment to the victims to revive them but their efforts were in vain considering that they were inside the tunnel for several hours prior to the discovery of their bodies in separate areas.
Earlier, Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan called on pocket miners provincewide not to enter their working areas at the height of the continuous monsoon rains to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents that might lead to loss of lives.