ROXAS City – Three brothers died of suffocation while working inside an underground water tank in Barangay Maindang, Cuartero, Capiz.
They were laborers 25-year-old Jerson, 19-year-old Neil Jun and 15-year-old Wilbert Vargas, police said.
The brothers – residents of Barangay Majanlod, Sapian, Capiz – were workers of a construction firm hired to build an additional school building of Maindang National High School.
According to Cuartero police station officer-in-charge Master Sergeant Arnold Batacandolo, the incident happened on Wednesday when the brothers were tasked to remove slab formworks inside the underground water tank.
Wilbert went down first to the water tank to clean it, said Raffy Bellosillo, also a laborer, who survived the incident. But when he failed to come out, the two brothers went down to check.
“Ginsundan ko si Jerson, pero nag-dali dali ako gwa kay gina lagas ko ang akon pag-ginhawa,” Bellosillo added.
In an interview with Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Officer, Ronald Guillermo, they were obliged to break the structure by creating another hole using a jack hammer to ventilate the area.
“We seek the assistance of the Bureau of Fire Protection because they are equipped with breathing apparatus,” Guillermo said.
Captain Mary Grace Borio of the municipal police station said the victims’ lifeless bodies were retrieved around 12:30 p.m.
Borio said they have yet to determine what caused the Vargas brothers to suffocate and die./PN