SMPC Panian open pit collapses anew, 1 dead

The Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) Panian open pit mine collapsed anew in Antique province with one worker dead and two others were hospitalized.

Noemi Tagle, Aunt of SMPC’s 22-year-old worker Lpath Felipe, said that per information she received her nephew was then roving with two other foremen at around 7 o’clock Sunday night when the incident happened at the Panian pit.

“I was informed that when the incident happened other SMPC workers immediately rushed to rescue them but my nephew was buried alive,” she said in Antique’s local dialect.

She said that the two other foremen were able to survive the incident and are now confined at the Semirara Hospital.

“A cousin of mine is going to Semirara today to retrieve the body of Lpath,” she said.

She said that she is really saddened with the incident so much so that her nephew has just newly graduated from college at the University of Antique Caluya campus and that he worked his way with the help of his sibling only.

The Panian pit is being reported to still be undergoing rehabilitation with the purpose to restore it to its original landscape after Governor Rhodora J Cadiao strongly asking that it be closed already because of the deep mining activities and “exhaustion” of its coal resources.

In February 2013, the pit also collapsed leaving five workers dead.

Also last July 2015, there was another landslide that happened at the site, which reportedly buried alive nine workers.PNA