Semirara coal mine operator confirms fatal accident near quarry site | Inquirer News
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Semirara coal mine operator confirms fatal accident near quarry site

/ 07:49 PM July 21, 2020

ILOILO CITY—A worker of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) died in an accident near a mining pit on Semirara Island in Antique province late on Monday (July 20), the company confirmed.

In a statement, SMPC said it is “with deep regret” that it was confirming an accident at an area of the quarry called Narra Pit.

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It said around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, “a limestone boulder fell and hit one of our excavator units” that led to “fatal injury to its operator.”

“We are determining the exact circumstance surrounding the incident,” it said.

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The SMPC statement condoled with family and friends of the worker.

“We continue to help the family in this very difficult time as we are committed to providing them with the support that they need,” the SMPC said.

The company did not name the fatality but the environmental group Save Antique Movement, which monitors the mining operation on the island, identified him as Admer Gabinete, 29, a resident of Alegria village in Semirara.

Bong Sanchez, Save Antique Movement president, said that the accident occurred at the southernmost wall of Panian Pit, citing sources inside the company.

In October last year, a worker was buried in a mudslide at the Molave Pit.

Monday’s accident is the latest in fatal accidents related to mining operations on the island.

In September 2016, three workers drowned after inhaling poisonous gas inside a barge at the SMPC pier.

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Nine SMPC workers died in 2015 after excavated soil and part of the northern Panian open mine pit collapsed burying the workers and heavy equipment.

On Feb. 13, 2013, five workers also died and five others remained missing and presumed dead following the collapse of the western wall of the Panian Pit.

Owned by David M. Consunji Inc., the mining firm has been operating one of the biggest coal mines in Asia in Semirara since 1999 after it took over the then government-owned Semirara Coal Corp.

The company employs about 4,000 workers. At least 96 percent of locally produced coal is supplied by SMPC. Semirara Island is among a group of nine islands comprising Caluya town in Antique.

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TAGS: Accident, coal, Mining, Quarry site, Semirara, worker
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