Authorities have recovered the remains of one of the three persons buried inside a collapsed gold mining pit in Paracale, Camarines Norte.
The remains of 22-year-old Julian Cabarubia, earlier identified as Jay-Ar, were found past 4 p.m. Thursday, after it floated in the entrance of an adjacent pit, Bicol regional police spokesman Supt. Renato Bataller said.
“Lumutang daw po ito… dun na po ito lumabas dun sa isang katabing butas na pag-aari ng a certain Martires,” Bataller said in a phone interview.
Cabarubia and fellow gold panners Carlo Salen, 37, and Luis Sayson, 33, were buried inside a pit being financed by Agosto Jordan in Sitio Bulaay, Purok Maligaya, Brgy. Palanas.
The pit collapsed after water that accumulated in an adjacent pit rushed in, police said.
“Ang termino nila dito ay ‘nabulwat,’ kapag sinabing nabulwat, nabutas siya, aksidenteng nabangga mo ‘yung hukay ng iba, kaya ayun, bumulwak ‘yung tubig at natabunan nga at nalunod itong ating mga biktima,” Bataller said.
Several pits have been found in the area and some of them have been neglected, causing water to accumulate inside, he said.
Gold panners in Brgy. Palanas cover up their “guerrilla operation” by hiding the pits under makeshift huts, according to Bataller.
Authorities are still trying to recover the remains of Salen and Sayson as of Friday morning.
“‘Yung dalawa ay nakakapa na ng divers natin, at kasalukuyan pa ngayong target ng retrieval operation. ‘Yung personnel ng OCD regional office 5 ay nandoon na rin sa area para tumulong sa retrieval at may panukala nga sila na i-pump ‘yung tubig sa loob ng hukay para mas mapadali yung pagkuha sa debris at nang mailabas na rin ‘yung dalawang bangkay dun sa ilalim,” Bataller said.
Only three people were reported to police as having been buried in the pit, though there is talk that more are inside, he said. (John Roson)
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