Camp Saturnino Dumlao, Nueva Vizcaya—The manager of a construction firm working at a planned mine site in upland Kasibu town drowned after his vehicle was swept away by river current in Barangay (village) Didipio there on Friday, police said on Sunday.
Nueva Vizcaya Police Director Senior Superintendent Valfrie Tabian said Joselito Raguini, branch manager of Delta Earthmoving Inc., was driving his Mitsubishi Strada pickup and crossing an overflow bridge in Sitio (sub village) Dumpit when strong current swept away his vehicle at 2 a.m.
Delta is the main contractor for the construction of the mine complex of the Didipio gold-copper project, which is being built by OceanaGold Philippines Inc., an Australian company.
Raguini’s two passengers—Belen Antiyag, 23, and Richard Flores, 47, both Delta employees—survived after they broke the vehicle’s glass windows and swam to safety, police said.
Tabian said Raguini’s body was recovered at 4 p.m. Friday in Alimit village, about 4 kilometers downstream. His vehicle was found nearby.
Police said heavy downpour on Thursday afternoon caused the Dinauyan River to swell, submerging the bridge.
Chief Inspector Maciste Extor Serrano, Kasibu police chief, said Raguini and his companions came from the Delta depot and were on their way to the OceanaGold compound, about 100 meters from the overflow bridge, when the accident happened.
“The driver must have underestimated the strength of the current, especially so that vehicles of Delta and OceanaGold cross that bridge regularly, even when it is under water,” Serrano said. Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon