Coast Guard deploys divers to help search for missing miners in Toledo City

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2020 11:58 AM

MANILA - The Philippine Coast Guard has deployed its divers to help in search and rescue operations for seven miners still missing after a landslide occurred at a copper mining site in Toledo City, Cebu.

“We deployed 'yung aming mga divers. Kaninang umaga po pinaalis na ni Admiral [Jose William] Isaga ng Coast Guard District Cebu at sila naman po tutulong sa paghahanap,” said Commodore Armand Balilo.

(We deployed our divers. Admiral Isaga of the Coast Guard District Cebu sent them off and they will be the ones to help in the search.)

Balilo said there is a possibility that the missing miners were washed away in an area with water near the crater. He said K9 teams sent by the PCG was having a hard time in the search and rescue operations.

“Sapagkat malambot daw po 'yung lupa ayon doon sa mga nangunguna doon sa mga nagpaplano sa rescue operations,” he said.

(The ground is soft according to those who led and planned the rescue operations.)

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The Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) said the landslide that killed 4 miners happened at 4:15 p.m. Monday following months of persistent rain showers.

It was exacerbated by Tropical Depression Vicky, which struck parts of the Visayas and Mindanao over the weekend, they added.

Barangay Biga Chairman Pedro Sepada said they informed authorities about cracks they noticed on the mountain a month before the accident. He even called for a consultative meeting in the barangay.

“Ngayon lang sila gumagalaw mayroon nang nagbuwis ng buhay,” he said.

(They are only acting now when lives have been lost.) 

Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 7 Regional Director Armand Malicse ordered CCC to immediately suspend mining operations at the Carmen Pit following the incident.

CCC is an operating mine of Atlas Consolidated Mining Development Corporation (ACMDC) based in Toledo.

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