Saturday 5 January 2019

Tunnel collapse kills three treasure hunters in the Philippines.

Three treasure hunters have been killed in a tunnel collapse in Negros Oriental Province, the Philippines. The collapse occurred on Wednesday 2 January 2019, beneath a property in the municipality of Sibulan, while four men were in the tunnel. One of these, Mauro Alfonque, 44, was only partially buried, and was able to dig himself out and raise the alarm, however rescue workers were unable to save the other three, Bobby Baldado, 32, Algie Javier, 28, and Boy Insilay, 61. 

Rescue workers in Sibulan entering a tunnel in search of three burried treasure hunters on 3 January 2019. Juancho Gallarde/SunStar.

The men had apparently been employed by the owner of the property, Christine Singh, who had obtained the property in May 2018, apparently in the belief that part of the treasure of Tomoyuki Yamashita, a Japanese military commander widely believed to have hidden treasures looted in Southeast Asia somewhere in the Philippines. The men had dug down about ten metres, before digging horizontally under a road and beneath a neighbouring property, when the tunnel collapsed following heavy rain, which can result in excess pore water pressure overcoming cohesion in soil and sediments.

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