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Rescuers shift to search and retrieval for missing miners in collapsed Toledo pit

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | December 25,2020 - 05:38 PM

Search and retrieval begins in collapsed Toledo mining site

DAILY PRODUCTION. Carmen Copper Corp. produces at least 45,000 dry metric tons of copper ore daily from its operation in Toledo City, Cebu province. —PHOTO FROM ATLAS CONSOLIDATED MINING AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. WEBSITE | INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Disaster and rescue personnel in Toledo City on December 25, 2020, has shifted to search and retrieval operations for the six miners who remained missing after a landslide occurred in an open-mining site there.

“As of 8:55 a.m. today (December 25), we have officially shifted to doing search and retrieval operations for the remaining missing miners,” John Roseller Layan, information officer of  the Toledo City Government, told CDN Digital in a phone interview.

Last December 22, search and rescue operations began for the miners in Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) after portions of its open-mining site in Barangay Biga collapsed.

At least four died and were identified as Junil S. Lagola, Ernesto G. Caspe, Juan M. Tapang, and Dionisio Labang.

The other six missing miners were Jose B. Carpentero, Jonwel S. Herediano, Simeon B. Laconas, John Paul L. Resuelo, Renante F. Sepada, and Alfred C. Tautho.

READ MORE: Toledo tragedy: Names of victims released

But nine hours since they started their search and retrieval operations on December 25, Layan said they have not found any signs that could lead them to the missing miners.

He also said the government and CCC have employed technological means such as deploying drones and establishing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the mining site to aid their search.

“In the event that the mining site would be risky for our personnel to conduct further search and retrieval operations, there are drones and CCTV placed,” said Layan.

Even before the search and retrieval operations began, experts from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) said chances for the six missing miners to be rescued alive have been slim.

In an earlier report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, officials said the four bodies that had been retrieved may have either died of drowning or hit by debris or rocks when the landslide struck.

Operations in CCC’s mining site have been suspended to give way for the search.

Toledo City is a third-class city located approximately 46 kilometers southwest of Cebu City./rcg

RELATED STORY: MGB execs say odds of finding alive 6 missing in Toledo mining landslide are slim

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TAGS: Carmen Copper Corporation, CCTV, Toledo City

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