Remains of trapped Cebu miner retrieved

By Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

Posted at Mar 02 2014 05:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2014 01:01 AM

CEBU CITY -- It was Melvin Landero's first month as a miner at the carbon mine of Seri Mining Saturday, when the mine caved in and Landero was trapped inside.

Two of his other co-workers were injured and were brought to the hospital. The incident happened 30 minutes before their shift ended at 7 a.m.

At around 8:40 a.m. Sunday, his body was brought out of the mine already covered in plastic. According to the miners, who helped in the retrieval operation, Landero's body was smashed by big wood trunks.

One of the miners said they had to clear the area first and make sure that it will not cave-in again before they were able to reach the area where the body of Landera was located. That process took much of their time in retrieving the body.

According to Melvin's father. Joselito Landero, he personally went down the mine at around 2 a.m. to look for his son.

"I was inside the mine, I cried out and ask my son to show up so he can rest in peace, a few minutes after, the miners found him," Joselito said.

Her mother, Baselia Landero, fainted upon the sight of his son's lifeless body. Baselia was restricted to get close to her son, as the body was already in the state of decomposition.

Landero was brought to St. Peter's Funeral Homes in Danao City proper.

Melvin's uncle, Antonio Labador, was the last person he talked to inside the mine. Labador said they first noticed sand dropping inside the mine. The mine shook and the wooden trunks that served as the foundation of the mine collapsed, some of them falling on the lower half of the miner's body.

"Mamatay na man tingali ko ani tiyo, naglisud na man ko'g ginhawa," (I think I'm going to die here uncle, I can hardly breathe,) were the last words that the miner told Labador.

"I told him to hold on because we are going to get him out of there," said Labador.

But another wave of falling trunks occurred and they had to leave the mine or else all of them would have died. Labador said the mine collapsed gradually in three series of blows.

The Department of Energy in the Visayas has already sent investigators and inspectors to the mine site to look into the incident.