CEBU CITY, March 3 (PNA) — Energy department officials have suspended the mining operations of SKI Energy Resources Inc. (Seri) Mining in the mountain barangay of Dungga in Danao City, following the collapse of one of its underground coal mines Saturday that killed a miner.
Engr. Eduardo Amante, Department of Energy (DOE) 7 energy resources development and utilization division chief, said the suspension will remain in effect until the investigation on the cause of the collapse is completed.
Danao City is located some 33 kilometers north of Cebu City and the coal mine site is 20 kilometers from the city proper.
Rescuers pulled out the body of miner Melvin Landero, 22, some 400 meters away from the main entrance at 8:45 a.m. Sunday after a 26-hour search and rescue operation.
His father Joselito, 42, said his son was smashed by big wood trunks and rocks.
He said it took time to retrieve the body because miners had to clear the area and ensure it wouldn’t collapse again.
Landero, who was the eldest in a brood of five, started working in the mine three weeks before the accident.
He was under Virlo Construction and Development Corp., a subcontractor of Seri Mining.
Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, who visited the mining site, said the miners’ safety may have been compromised when the management decided to pay them based on how much coal they could extract.
“The miners tried to get as much, even if the conditions were no longer good,” he said.
The mayor’s son, Rep. Joseph Ace Durano (Cebu, fifth district) said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should look into the outsourcing practices of the mining sector and see if there is a need to strengthen regulations and enforcement.
Rep. Durano said Dole should make sure the affected miners and their families are properly compensated.
Most of Barangay Dungga’s over a thousand residents depend on coal mining for a living. (PNA)