Explosion in Albay’s Batan island mining camp kills 2 persons

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CAMP GEN. SIMEON A. OLA, Legazpi City, Nov. 26 – The Bicol regional police director has ordered an investigation of the chief of police of the Rapu-Rapu island municipality in Albay after the latter appeared unaware of an explosion in a mining company that killed two persons and injured two others in Bagawbaw, Batan Island, on November 20, an area under his responsibility.

Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona has also ordered the investigation of village officials because they did not inform the proper authorities about the accident.

What angered him, Deona said, was that it took almost six days before he learned about the explosion in the coal mining village that claimed the lives of two miners and injured two others.

It was only on Monday that the authorities and the public learned about the accident.

Killed in the explosion were Antonio Grajeda and Jerson Dela Cruz while injured were Moises Boyon and Christian Santillan, all working at the Sammajo Mining Corp.

Senior Inspector Gilbert Otivar, acting Rapu-Rapu Police chief, claimed that they were just informed on Monday that there was indeed a blast that happened at Batan Island.

He further claimed that the owner, operator of the mining company and village officials had no plans to give information about the explosion.

Otivar said the incident happened at about 9:00 a.m. while the victims were inside a 125-meter-long tunnel, some 34 meters below the surface, mining coal or carbon.

One of the victims reportedly hit a hard stone that caused a spark which allegedly caused the blast.

The victims scampered out of the tunnel and were luckily seen by fellow villagers who brought them to the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital for medical treatment.

Unfortunately, Grageda died at about 11:00 a.m. last Saturday and on Sunday, Dela Cruz passed away at 4:00 p.m.

Otivar said it was at the hospital that the two surviving victims bared what had happened.

He said the mining company is owned by a certain engineer Carlito Aparri and that the Department of Energy had long stopped its operation as it posed danger to the residents of the place.

Even the families of the victims have kept mum on the incident, prompting authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the case.

Otivar said he learned that the mining company has already extended help to the victims of the mining blast. (PNA)

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