Saturday, 18 July 2015

Collapse kills at least six at Philippine coal mine.

Six mine workers have been confirmed dead following a collapse at the Semirara Mining and Power Corporation operated Panian Coal Mine on Semirara Island in Antique Province, the Philippines, which occurred on Friday 17 July 2015. Another three miners are still missing following the event. All of the workers were part of a team of thirteen working at a coal face at the open-pit mine, when the face collapsed in a landslide-like event. Four of the team were able to escape, but the remaining nine were buried and it is not thought likely that any have survived. The miners confirmed dead have been identified as Alexander Nudo, Arnold Omac, Ricardo Panes, Dicson Daupan, Bernie Manrique, and Jeneroso Talaro, while those still missing have been named as Danilo Bayhon, Noel Penolla, and Ian Catulay.

Damaged equipment in the aftermath of the 17 July 2015 Panian Mine collapse. Bea Zaragosa/ABS-CBN News.

The cause of the collapse is unclear at this time, but thought likely to be related to high rainfall in the days before the event. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. The Department of Energy has ordered operations at the mine to be suspended until an enquiry into the deaths has been carried out.

The approximate location of the Panian Coal Mine.Google Maps.

Open pit mines cover much of the northern half of Semirara Island, and have been a focus of concern for environmental and human rights groups. The mines are a major source of revenue, as well as providing employment and fuel for generating electricity in the Philippines developing economy. However the Semirara Mining and Power Corporation has been accused of land-grabbing practices which have displaced hundreds of seaweed planters, fishermen and farmers from their traditional homes and lands, and of destroying important local ecosystems, in particular the islands mangroves which are considered part of a biodiversity hotspot. The mines also have a checkered safety history, with ten workers having been killed in a similar collapse in February 2013.

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1 comment:

  1. Very sad to hear that these kind of incidents taking place and lost their lives in the mining industry.Government should provide proper equipment and more safety to the employees and also wages.