ITONG, Benguet – Two pocket miners died after they succumbed to alleged gas poisoning inside a private mine tunnel at Mill Site, Gumatdang, here, Monday.
Chief Inspector Eugene Raymundo, chief of the Itogon Municipal Police Station, identified the fatalities as Robert Binay-an Gorteza, 28, male, single, a native of Parparya, Bagulin, La Union and presently residing in the place of incident; and Anthony Gorteza Salas, 30, male, single, a native and a resident of Mill Site, Gumatdang, Itogon, Benguet.
Initial police investigation showed Robert allegedly entered their working area purposely to get some of their tools but he was not able to come out after several hours that prompted his cousin to follow him but he was not also able to come out from the same place.
Suspecting that something went wrong, their cousin Peter wen inside the tunnel to locate their whereabouts but he suddenly smelled something believed to be poisonous gas that caused him to seek assistance from their colleagues outside.
With the use of a blower, rescuers were able to locate the lifeless bodies of the victims in different areas inside the tunnel as responding rescuers declared them dead on the spot.
The remains of the victims were brought home to their residences for them to be given a descent burial.
By Dexter A. See