Five miners killed, five missing as Semirara coal mine collapses
In a statement, resident manager George San Pedro of the Semirara Mining Corporation confirmed the developments, saying a section of the west wall of the Panian pit in the mine gave way at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday.
Semirara is the nation's only large-scale coal producer. On the company website, there is no mention of mine safety or workplace safeguards, except for a line about an ISO certification for its "Safety Management System."
But large companies like Semirara are supposed to have safeguards that smaller operations do not have.
Satellite image dated September 2011 showing the open pit mines of Semirara. Google Maps
In a separate statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government identified the survivors as Marjun Catoto, Adrian Celmar and Leonardo Sojor.
DILG Sec. Mar Roxas II has directed local government officials in Antique and Caluya town, as well as the Philippine National Police in Region 6, to lead the search and rescue operations for the trapped miners, the statement said.
Large-scale coal producer
The Semirara Mining Corporation describes itself as the only large-scale coal producer in the Philippines. It is engaged in surface open cut mining of thermal coal in its Panian mine on Semirara Island, where the mine collapse occurred.
In 2009, the company was accused of polluting Semirara's coastal resources with wastes from its coal washing plant. The company denied the allegation.
Map showing the location of Semirara Island. It is located between the islands of Mindoro and Panay. It is under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Caluya and the province of Antique, Region 6. Google Maps
Citing initial reports, he said three miners were rescued from the collapsed mine site. One of the victims was flown to Manila while two only had minor injuries.
Data compiled by GMA News Research since 2008 on fatalities from mining-related operations show that most victims were working in small-scale mining areas.
|Sept. 22, 2008||Itogon, Benguet||Six small-scale miners died when they were trapped inside a flooded mine tunnel at the Antamok Gold Field. Ten others were rescued, most of them after nine days in the tunnel.|
|May 18, 2009||Brgy. Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley||Heavy rain for two days caused a landslide that buried the bunk houses of gold miners at the foot of a mountain, killing 24 small-scale miners.|
|Apr. 3, 2011||Tampakan, South Cotabato||Four people were killed and two survived when a section of an illegal mine collapsed due to heavy rains.|
|Apr. 22, 2011||Sitio Panganason, Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley||At least 14 people were killed in a landslide at an illegal mine site that the MGB had declared a "dangerous" area.|
|Jan. 29, 2012||Brgy. Palanas, Paracale, Camarines Norte||Two miners drowned when the water rose suddenly inside an illegal small-scale mining area.|
|Aug. 3-10, 2012||Brgy. Bila, Bokod, Benguet||A small-scale miner trapped in a tunnel that collapsed was rescued after a week.|
|Nov. 20, 2012||Brgy. Palanas, Paracale, Camarines Norte||Three miners were killed when a small-scale mining pit collapsed in the area.|
— RSJ/LBG/YA, GMA News