Death toll in EDC landslide is now 6
TACLOBAN CITY- The number of dead persons due to the landslide incident inside the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) complex in Kananga town, Leyte has now reached to six.
This after the body of Marlon Boanghog was retrieved by members of the rescue teams last Sunday at 8:10 p.m., Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla said in a phone interview.
While the body of Boanghog, who was already on the state of decomposition, was located by the rescue groups at around 5 p.m. on that same day, it took them more than two hours to retrieve him due to the bad weather prevailing at that time and they have to dig manually.
Boanghog, who was a native of Barangay Aguiting, also of Kananga, was buried by debris at least four meters deep with one of his feet pinned down by a rock.
Boanghog was one of the nine workers of the JE Arradaza, subcontractor of the First Balfour, which is the project contractor of the EDC, declared missing after the March 1 landslide incident in Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-ao, 10 kms away from the town proper of Kananga.
Still missing were Abelardo Permanghel, Uldarico Taboranza, Salvador Yabana, Jorden Salcedo, Romeo Yazar, Salvador Lascañas, Jr., Alfredo Arabis and Danilo Mabatis.
Earlier declared dead were Bonifacio Polinio; Edgardo Cabarsi,Sr.; Belly Abella, Joel Milay and Etchield de la Austria.
Mayor Codilla said that it was the wife of Boanghog, whom he could not recall the name, who was able to identify him at the Kananga Municipal Hospital where the cadaver was first brought after it was retrieved.
“She was able to identify him through his belt and the casing of his mobile phone,” Codilla said.
The body was brought to the Saint Peter’s Funeral Home in Ormoc City for embalmment. It was brought to their residence in Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga.
Codilla said that rescue group, composed of the safety and rescue group of EDC, city government of Ormoc and members of the 19th Infantry Battalion which is based in Kananga, would continue their retrieval operations until all the missing persons would be discovered.
“The retrieval operation will continue without let up until the last missing person would be recover and retrieve,” Codilla said.
This statement of Codilla was echoed by Dave Devilles, information officer of the EDC, who said that the company would ensure that all the dead bodies entombed due to the landslide would be recovered.
Yesterday, the rescue group resumed their operation at 6:30 a.m. and would last until the weather condition in the area permits them.
BY JOEY A. GABIETA,
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