ComVal gold mine worker dies in shaft; poisonous gas eyed

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TAGUM CITY, Philippines—A 24-year-old worker died allegedly due to gas poisoning while inside a gold mine tunnel in Pantukan, Compostela Valley Tuesday evening, the police said.

Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan, Compostela Valley police chief, identified the victim as Jun Lope, 24, single and a native of Loreto town, Agusan del Sur.

The incident happened as Lope and several others were working inside a mine shaft owned by a certain Robert Sutero at Sitio Gumayan, Kingking village at past 6 p.m..

The victim’s elder brother, Julie, told a radio station in Pantukan that his brother was working 15 meters into the mine but failed to come out after 30 minutes.

The elder Lope, who was operating a blower—a machine that provides air into the shaft—grew worried and asked a co-worker, identified only as Romy, to check inside.

While inside, Romy reportedly inhaled noxious fumes, causing him to fall into seizure-like fits as he gasped for air, inadvertently pulling on the hose connected to the blower.

Alarmed, Julie called for help and Romy was eventually rescued.

Cascolan said the victim’s body was retrieved by other miners around 9 p.m. He said an investigation into the incident was now being conducted by Pantukan police.

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