4 electrocuted while searching for treasure in swamp
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Four men, three of them believed to be treasure hunters, were electrocuted on Friday while digging a hole in Barangay Maslog in Danao City north of here.
They were identified as Ernesto Ogabang, 49, Amik Bukonseho, 52, Jess Christian Miguel, 21, and Junnel Mayol, 19.
Police Officer 3 Marlon Remollo of the Danao City Police Station said that Ogabang, Bukonseho and Miguel were digging a hole in a swampy area of Barangay Maslog overgrown with nipa palms.
They dug a pit about 6-feet wide and 11-15 feet deep at the back of the barangay hall near the mouth of a river and lined the sides of the pit with wood to prevent the earth from caving in, Remollo said.
Remollo said that at about 10 a.m., the water level of the river started to rise with the tide, causing water to seep unnoticed into the pit until it reached the power connection of the men’s water pump, electrocuting Ogabang, Bukonseho and Miguel who were in the pit.
The three screamed for help, prompting Mayol to attempt to rescue them. But he too was electrocuted and fell into the pit.
Remollo said the victims might have been saved if relatives and neighbors had not waited for two hours to seek help.
Policemen, fire fighters and members of the city’s rescue team arrived in the area almost at noon.
Remollo said rescuers immediately pumped the water out of thepit. First to be retrieved was the body of Mayol before 6 p.m. and followed by Ogabang.
Bukonseho’s body was recovered at 7:45 p.m. and Miguel’s body was retrieved shortly afterward.
Remollo said that except for Mayol, the three were suspected by residents to be hunting for treasure.
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