A mining tunnel becomes flooded in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, leaving miners trapped
MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 29, 2016) — Three people died and 5 are missing after water flooded a mine in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, police said Monday, February 29.
Rescuers lowered tubes to pump water out of the mine in the impoverished town of Monkayo during the search for the missing, said provincial police commander Senior Superintendent Albert Ferro.
It was not immediately clear how the tunnel became flooded early Sunday but there was heavy rain in the area at the time, Ferro told AFP.
Twelve miners were initially trapped. Two bodies were retrieved while 5 others were rescued and 5 are still missing, he said.
Compostela Valley police identified the two retrieved fatalities as Gilbert Bayot and Reymart Pegaret.
A rescuer drowned on Sunday while trying to save those trapped, Ferro said, bringing the death toll to 3.
Deadly landslides are common in Monkayo in the west of the main southern island of Mindanao. But these have not deterred poor residents, some of them children, from working in the poorly-regulated mines.