Death toll in EDC Leyte landslide rises to 11

LEYTE, Philippines - The retrieval team digging up at the landslide area at Energy Development Corp.'s (EDC) Upper Mahiao Plant found 4 more bodies as of Wednesday 1 pm, March 6, bringing the death toll to 11 and just two missing.

The retrieval operations is on its 5th day and EDC executives are hopeful that the remaining two bodies are found Wednesday.

The 4 cadavers are all from Kananga town, according to Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla. They are:

The landslide happened in the area late morning of March 1. Five fatalities were immediately found while 9 remained missing out of the 45 who reported for work that day.

All were workers of JA Construction, a subcontractor of First Balfour, who were fortifying the area against possible landslides.

Ironically, a landslide happened while they were working on it.

The first of 9 bodies declared missing was retrieved late afternoon of Sunday, March 2. He was identified as Marlon Buanghog, a resident of Kananga, Leyte.

On March 4, the body of Uldarico Taburanza was recovered. On March 5 at 8 pm, the body of Abelardo Permangil was found. Seven of the 9 missing have already been found.

The retrieval team has been working on the area round-the-clock after the "crown of the slope" was cleared. Work would only momentarily stop when a "spotter" would see a rock coming down, or if it rains. Generally, however, the weather had been cooperative.

First Balfour senior vice president Alberto Ignacio Jr told reporters they have taken care of the families of the fatalities and those injured. - with reports from Eastern Visayas Mail/