Leyte gov’t wants probe of geothermal site landslide

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TACLOBAN CITY—The Leyte provincial government will investigate the cause of the landslide at a geothermal plant complex that killed seven workers, according to the province’s governor.

Gov. Mimietta Bagulaya, however, can’t say when the investigation will start.

The landslide struck on Friday at the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) complex, killing seven of 45 workers building a concrete shelter meant to protect steam pipes from rocks and soil that regularly fall from the mountain.

The EDC, in a statement, said the landslide might have been triggered by continuous rains the past days.

The seventh fatality was identified as Uldarico Taburanza, of Kananga town, whose body was found in the landslide area past 5 p.m. on Monday.

The other fatalities are Bonifacio Poliño, Etchield de la Austria, Edgardo Cabarsi Sr., Joel Milay, Billy Abella and Marlon Boanghog, all workers at the site.

The fatalities were among 45 workers of JE Arradaza, a subcontractor of First Balfour, the main contractor of EDC.

Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla said retrieval teams are working 24-hours a day to find all the fatalities’ bodies and give the victims decent burials.

Retrieval teams have yet to find the bodies of workers Abelardo Permanghel, Salvador Yabana, Jorden Salcedo, Romeo Yazar, Salvador Lascañas Jr., Alfredo Arabis and Danilo Mabatis.

Codilla said the only problem he sees in the retrieval operations is the delay that is being caused by intermittent rains in the accident site.

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