Small-scale miners suffocate to death in La Union mine pit

Justin Aguilar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2017 04:22 AM

One of the bodies of the 3 small-scale miners is being retrieved from a mine pit in La Union, Tuesday. Justin Aguilar, ABS-CBN News

LA UNION—Three small-scale miners died after suffocating in a 60-foot deep mine pit in San Fermin, Caba town in La Union province on Tuesday.

Caba Police Station chief Senior Insp. Melanie Lobusta identified the victims as Wilfredo Gatchalian, 59; and father-and-son Bonifacio Rimorin, 54, and Jonathan Rimorin, 30.

Lobusta said the three had been in the mine since Monday. Suspicions grew when one of them had failed to return his wife's repeated phone calls the next morning. 

Fearing the worst, their families sought help from the police in locating their whereabouts.

The miners' bodies were retrieved by locals and rescuers at around 2p.m., Tuesday.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office discouraged the public, particularly small-scale miners, from any form of mining without permits and proper safety equipment.

The families of the victims have declined to be interviewed.