MANKAYAN, Benguet – The number of missing miners and members of their families dropped to 8 after rescuers were able to retrieve the body of a still unidentified individual from underneath the debris at sitio Elizabeth, barangay Taneg here around 4:30 pm Friday.
Superintendent Jonathan G. Calixto, commanding officer of the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company, said the on-going search and rescue operations have become treacherous and challenging because of the huge boulders bigger than houses that continue to impede the implementation of appropriate strategies to retrieve the remaining bodies that were trapped underneath the debris.
Last Thursday, rescuers, who are on the sixth day of unrelenting search and rescue operations, recovered the remains of Marvin Collado Baturi, 31, a native of Dipaculao, Aurora, who was immediately brought by his relatives to his hometown.
Aside from the use of pressurized pumps to clear the mud from the area that buried the shanties, Calixto added they are also using explosives courtesy of the concerned miners in order to rid the area of the big boulders for them to be able to advance in the area where most of those missing were trapped.
Further, K-9 dogs from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also arrived in the area to assist in the retrieval operations of the missing miners aside from the over 500 rescuers doing the manual work.
He said rescuers will continue to fastrack the on-going operations so that they will be able to recover the missing miners the soonest in order for their relatives to be able to identify them.