DOE, PNP start probe on Semirara tragedy

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Energy (DoE) has started its investigation on the collapsed mining site in Semirara Island in Caluya, Antique which claimed the lives of its 6 workers and left 3 others missing.

On Saturday, July 18, the DOE sent its personnel to Semirara Island and begun exploring the Panian open pit coal mine of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) where the incident happened to determine the root cause of the accident.

The DoE earlier ordered for the suspension of mining operations in Semirara Island, right after the incident which transpired before dawn on Friday, July 17.

The PNP also sent its probe team to the mine site, as ordered by PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez.

The PNP probe team was headed Deputy Regional Director for Operations Senior Supt. Jose Carillo, Antique Provincial Director Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, and Caluya Police Chief Senior Insp. Frankie Gatila.

Together with them were personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Staff of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Antique headed by Broderick Train also went to the area.

Number of casualties due to the incident as of July 18 in the afternoon rose to 6. Three more miners are still missing namely Danilo Bayhon, Noel Penolla and Ian Catulay.

Those who retrieved by the search and retrieval team were Alexander Nudo, Ricardo Panes, Arnold Omac, Bernie Manrique, Dicson Dayupan and Generoso Talaro.

Meanwhile, Antique Congressman Paolo Javier and his father, former Antique Governor Exequiel Javier, pledged P10,000 as financial assistance to the family of each of the casualties. –