2 dead in Benguet mine gas poisoning

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The mines have claimed lives anew.

Accidental gas poisoning killed pocket miners Dante Lingyasan and Elton Labintas in a mining tunnel in Tumtumba, Macannawey, Cabiten in Mankayan town.

Police investigation revealed a concerned citizen alerted local police to report the mining mishap in a bid to save others underground.


A responding police emergency team form the Rural Health Unit headed by doctor Fabiola Gabriel reported Lingyasan and Labintas was found lifeless while six other survived the gas accident underground.

Among those injured were Nobres Tip-ac Libag, Elvis Lambino, Jessie Lambino, Dominic Olio, Junes Bombe, and Carl Lingsayen.

Investigation reveal the accident happened, 2 p.m., July 7, inside the tunnel when fumes from a water pump burst causing huge gas and vapor emission.

The accident led to oxygen deprivation that eventually killed both victims.

A government warning still stands for a halt in illegal small-scale mining activities in the province.

While the order has been in place, small-scale miners continue to operate underground hoping to skip government regulation and earn easy money.

Benguet Provincial Police Director Rodolfo Azurin presented illegal small-scale mining as a top concern for the police to thwart.

Currently, an estimated 20,000 small-scale miners are operating in the province with most of them having no mining background.

Problems surrounding small-scale mining continue to hound the province, which include the lack of permits, regulations and difficulty in monitoring.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 10, 2014.

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