April 20, 2017

24-Year-Old Miner From Sagada Dies From Gas Poisoning In Itogon, Benguet

A young miner died after succumbing to chemical gases inside a concrete impounding tank in the Benguet town of Itogon on Monday afternoon (April 17). According to the Itogon police, the victim who has been identified as Allen Dao-as, was cleaning the impounding tank with two companions when he succumbed to the gasses accumulated inside the tank.

An impounding tank is used by mining operators to to store tailings from their mining activities. The incident occurred in Fatima, Ucab, Itogon. Dao-as and his companions (Peter Ticag and Benito Bolinget Lengwa) were rushed by rescuers to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. Lengwa and Ticag survived. Dao-as, on the other hand, was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician. He was only 24 years old.

According to the police, Dao-as hails from Madongo, Sagada in Mt. Province. He and his two companions were hired by a certain Jimmy Bawayan to clean the impounding tank.
Image credit: Flickr
Itogon is the biggest mining town in Benguet. Statistics show that nearly 10,000 small scale miners eke out a living in the dozens of pocket mines that dot the region.

Gas poisoning is a huge problem in small-scale mines in Itogon. Dozens of miners have already died during the last several years due to gas poisoning. In light of the most recent incident, small scale miners and operators are being advised to be more careful in their operations.