Itogon, Benguet – Three pocket miners died successively inside an abandoned private mine tunnel after they allegedly succumbed to alleged gas poisoning when they entered the tunnel to get the appropriate units of equipment used for their small-scale mining activities at Fatima, Ucab, here, Tuesday afternoon.
Police authorities identified the fatalities as Rosalino Api-it Narciza, 54, married, miner, a native and a resident of Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, Rimando Api-it, 36, married, laborer, a native and a resident of Ucab, Itogon, Benguet and Santiago Falikao Banganan, 32, married, miner, a native and a resident of Fatima, Ucab, Itogon, Benguet.
Initial police investigation showed Narcisa reportedly entered his abandoned private tunnel in the area at around 12:30 noon just to get some of the units of equipment being used for their small-scale mining operation and come back out to eat lunch with his wife. He never went out of the tunnel that prompted his wife to ask for help. His nephew, Rimando followed him inside the tunnel to see what happened but he also never came back out after several minutes.
At this juncture, Banganan, who just came out from his own private mine tunnel, entered in the tunnel in an attempt to try to check on what happened to the two individuals by using a blower but he also never came back that prompted concerned pocket miners in the area to use bigger blowers to see what happened to their colleagues.
At around 4:00PM, the lifeless bodies of the victims were successively recovered within the tunnel and they were suspected to have succumbed to gas poisoning inside the mine tunnel. The remains of the three miners were brought to their respective residence for them to be given the appropriate wake and burial rites by their respective families.
By Dexter A. See