By Winston P. Ensomo,
SURIGAO City — Three gold miners died after suffocating on poisonous gas inside a mining tunnel in Barangay Ellaperal, Placer town in Surigao del Norte on Friday.
The fatalities were identified as Joar B. Olayvar, 30, Francisco Daniolco, 27, and a certain Ritsobal –– all victims are residents of Placer.
Tunnel owner Antonio T. Sigador and Ellaperal Barangay Chairman Edwin D. Jabonero both reported the incident to Placer Municipal Police, immediately after a lone survivor, Dario B. Arco, 27, managed to crawl outside the tunnel before collapsing.
Initial investigation on the incident showed that a total of six persons, headed by their team leader Dario B. Samosino, 36, were conducting a clearing operation on the tunnel in preparation of their small-scale mining operation in Ellaperal.
Arco told police that five men went inside the tunnel where Samosino waited outside the tunnel. While working inside the tunnel for two hours, the miners started feeling dizzy and experienced difficulty in breathing.
Arco crawled outside the tunnel and alerted Samosino of the gas leak.
The Search and rescue operation were conducted by the authorities at around 4 pm of the same day but found the bodies of the three miners left inside the tunnel. Local police are now conducting further investigation to determine the alleged gas leak in the tunnel.