LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Two miners died while five others were rescued from a tunnel of a small-scale mine in Aroroy, Masbate after a 140-meter deep sinkhole collapsed, the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office reported here.
Maria Luisa Calubaquib, PNP Bicol spokesman, identified the fatalities as Aljun Balbuena, 19, and John Philip Grego, 28, both gold panners.
The body of Balbuena was recovered by rescuers from the sinkhole on Thursday morning while Grego was found a few hours after the tunnel collapsed on Wednesday afternoon.
The other miners trapped in the tunnel were Marison Manlapas, 30; Garry Aninang, 30; Kevin Balbuenao, 24; Marlon Manlapas, 28; and Emart Manlapas, 21.
“The victims were trapped when the sinkhole collapsed on Wednesday afternoon at about 2:50 p.m. Out of the seven, five were rescued and brought to Aroroy Municipal Hospital for medical treatment due to injuries,” Calubaquib said.
Last year, two miners were also killed in another Aroroy small-scale mine also after a tunnel collapsed.
Aroroy is a rich gold town in the island province of Masbate where the Filminera mining firm is located.
Small-scale mining in Aroroy is illegal, according to the police.