ZAMBOANGA CITY: Four sand-quarry workers were killed and two others missing after the truck they were riding was swept by strong river currents in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Norte, police said on Tuesday.
Senior Police Officer 2 Reczim Daquipil, one of those who was dispatched to search for the workers, said the incident happened on Monday afternoon in Dapitan River.
Daquipil said four of the victims were recovered in Dapitan City after a massive search.
Two other victims – truck driver Federico Calunsag and Ruth Pactorayan – remained missing, although there was an unconfirmed report that Calunsag’s body had been found, the police officer added.
Daquipil identified those they retrieved as Lilia Ellobido, Joana Tuse, truck helper Ihid Pioco and Jun Obordo.
He said some of them were his neighbors.
“It was really tragic. The truck was returning to the shore when its engine stalled and a sudden surge of water swept it away. All those in the truck were also swallowed by the river,” he told The Manila Times by phone from La Libertad.
The 15-kilometer stretch of the river on the side of the town is dotted by quarries that employ mostly villagers.
It was unknown whether municipal officials have approved quarrying in the area, although it is a livelihood for many people there.