8 bodies recovered from DPWH building buried in landslide

BAGUIO, Philippines (UPDATED) – Eight bodies were recovered from the buried rubble of the DPWH Second District Engineering Office in Sitio Sakrang, Barangay Banawel, Natonin, Mountain Province. The building was hit by a landslide on Tuesday afternoon, October 30.

A representative of the engineering office said most of the bodies still need to be identified. Two of them were identified as Benito Falangkad Longad and Jeffrey Nagawa Salang-ey.

So far, the following have been rescued:

The DPWH rescue team, led by Engineer Jonnel Emengga, already prepared equipment to speed up rescue operations. 

The Mountain Province disaster risk reduction and management office said rescue operations would be tedious because Natonin had become isolated as a result of road cuts and landslides.

First responders were able to arrive at the area only on Wednesday morning, October 31.

The office said the mountain beside the unfinished two-story building gave out Tuesday afternoon and buried 3 of the buildings.

Twenty-nine people were said to be trapped inside the buildings, including 20 construction laborers belonging to two construction firms, 3 security guards, a project engineer, and 5 evacuees from nearby homes.

Responders also started clearing the Bontoc-Kalinga and Bontoc-Barlig-Natonin Roads for incoming rescuers.

Meanwhile, also in Barangay Banawel in Sitio Harang, 30-year-old Mike Saleo-an was supposed to help in the rescue operation in the landslide but he was instead carried by the current while crossing the Furon Creek.

Fellow rescuers are also now trying to find Saleo-an, a resident of a nearby Banawe barangay.

Another landslide in Sitio Arnukan in Alunogan, Natonin buried a house and killed Jeffrey Salang-ey Nangaowa, 40. Nangaowa’s body was recovered at 6 pm, Tuesday.