3 miners die in alleged noxious fume poisoning in Davao de Oro gold mining tunnel
TAGUM CITY — Three small-scale miners died after allegedly inhaling noxious gases while working inside a tunnel in a gold-rich village of Pantukan, Davao de Oro over the weekend, police on Sunday said.
A report from Pantukan police station said Jelbert Lastimado, 25; Ariel Jayson, 23; and Julito Torifiel, 25, all of Tibagon village of Pantukan town, died while working inside a gold mining shaft at Purok (community) 50 of the town’s Barangay Diat past 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.
Police said one of the victims had entered the tunnel ahead of the others when he suddenly collapsed, prompting the two others to pull him out.
But they, too, suffocated and went down, according to Staff Sgt. Lozano, Pantukan police investigator.
The victims’ bodies were retrieved hours after the incident.
Police are investigating the cause of the victims’ deaths.
Mining accidents are common in Pantukan and other gold-rich areas in Davao de Oro where small-scale mining operations are rampant despite government efforts to regulate these activities.