By: Zaldy Comanda
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – Two miner died due to gas poisoning after they were trapped inside a mine tunnel Monday in Itogon, Benguet.
Senior Superintendent Florante Camuyot, Benguet Police Provincial Office director identified the victims as Robert Binay-an Gorteza, 28 years old and his cousin Anthony Gorteza Salas, 30, both from Bagulin, La Union and presently residing at Mill Site, Barangay Gumatdang in Itogon.
Investigation by Itogon Municipal Police Station reveal that Robert entered the mine tunnel owned and operated by them at 8 am on Monday to get their mining equipment despite heavy rains and warnings relayed by the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and local officials.
The elder Gorteza failed to come out for lunch, which prompting his cousin to follow and check on the whereabouts of his uncle.
Suspecting the duo was trapped, Peter, the brother of Anthony entered the tunnel but immediately retreated due to an unpleasant odor he encountered.
Peter and those who helped used a blower to supply oxygen inside the tunnel and as soon as they were able to reenter the site, they eventually discovered the dead bodies of both victims