At least 30 dead as bunkhouse collapses in Itogon: police
At least 30 persons were reported dead as a bunkhouse which serves as a place of worship collapsed during a landslide in Itogon Sunday, with President Rodrigo Duterte calling it a "developing situation."
"There is a developing story in Itogon... 43 persons.. The church collapsed," said Duterte in a televised Cabinet meeting in Cagayan where damage from Typhoon Ompong was being assessed.
Senior Superintendent Lyndon Mencio, Benguet provincial police director, told the Daily Manila Shimbun in a phone interview, "more or less 3o to 40 plus" were in the concrete bunkhouse where they evacuated.
"So far 30 plus (deaths)," said Mencio. Thirty-one bodies were identified while three were unidentified, Benguet police added.
Mencio said some rescuers were also among the casualties.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a televised meeting between Ilocos Norte officials, President Rodrigo Duterte and Cabinet members in Laoag, there was one survivor. Cimatu said he will be in Itogon Monday.
Cimatu said some of those who perished were pocket miners searching for gold in the area, which used to be the site of Benguet Consolidated.
Cimatu said the mine closed in 1997 but small-scale mining continued because of the presence of gold.
This led Duterte to voice out his opposition against open-pit mining which "loosens the soil". DMS