5 killed, 5 missing in landslide at huge coal mining pit in central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – A wall of a huge coal-mining pit collapsed in the central Philippines, killing at least five workers and burying eight others, officials said Thursday.

George San Pedro of the Semirara Mining Corp., which runs the coal mine on Semirara Island in Antique province, said three people were rescued after the landslide struck around midnight. Company officials initially reported three dead but said two more bodies were retrieved later Thursday, bringing the death toll to five, with five others still missing.

The workers were taking a break from the 24-hour mining operations when the landslide hit, officials said. The pit is among the country’s largest mines.

Company officials halted mining operations to ensure the safety of workers and allow an investigation of what set off the landslide, San Pedro said.

Regional police chief Agrimero Cruz Jr. said it has rained in recent days but it was unclear whether the weather had contributed to the landslide. No major earthquakes have been detected recently in Antique, about 350 kilometres (215 miles) south of Manila.

Office of Civil Defence regional director Rosario Cabrera said police and other authorities are co-ordinating with Semirara Mining Corp. to help rescue the missing miners.



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