At least 5 dead in Philippine coal mine collapse

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Baku, July 18, AZERTAC

Five people were confirmed dead while another five remain missing after a coal mine collapsed Friday in the central Philippines.

Ricky Lavega, an Antique province representative, told the state-run Philippines News Agency a landslide had struck a pit of the Semirara Coal Mine on Semirara island, Caluya township, at around 4 a.m. (2100GMT)

"The victims were brought to the Semirara hospital on plastic bags and family members of the victims were called to identify them,” he said, adding that the mine’s management has barred civilians from approaching the site.

Three of those killed have been confirmed as heavy equipment operators while two others have yet to be identified by relatives.

The five missing workers have also been identified as heavy equipment operators.

"The landslide was in the same area of the Panian Pit that collapsed on February 13, 2013 where several persons died and scores of others were buried alive," Lavega said.

Heavy equipment including three bulldozers, one giant backhoe and dump trucks were buried in Friday’s incident.

According to Lavega, the island had been experiencing fair weather since Wednesday.

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