2 die, 3 hurt in Negros in ‘treasure hunt’ gone bad

Police are investigating the circumstances behind the reported gas poisoning that claimed the lives of two persons during an alleged treasure-hunting activity in Siaton town, Negros Oriental.

A report from the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) on Saturday said three other persons were rushed to the hospital for treatment after they were exposed to gas when they entered a cave in Sitio Binukgayan, Barangay Apoloy in Siaton on Thursday afternoon.

The victims were part of a 15-member group that attempted to enter the cave, situated about 25 km. from the national highway, NOPPO spokesperson, Lt. Stephen Polinar, said in a statement.

Polinar said police are investigating the incident, which appears to be an illegal treasure hunt, as shown by the equipment recovered from the area.

Investigation showed that a body of water at the entrance of the cave had to be crossed before the “treasure hunters” could go deeper into the cavern.

Five of the men entered the cave and used a water pump to siphon out the water, the police report said.

While they were removing the water from the cave pool, they noticed gray smoke coming out of a hole and the water suddenly turned black.

A certain “Edwin,” designated as the watchman, shouted for help after he saw that two of the five men in the cave pool fell unconscious.

The victims were rushed to the Congressman Lamberto Macias District Hospital. The two victims died before reaching the hospital – a 28-year-old man from Barangay Apoloy, Siaton and a 30-year-old man from Barangay Mag-aso, Dauin town.

The police did not provide other details.

Polinar said local police are coordinating with the town officials to prohibit visits to the cave for public safety reasons.


Source: PNA

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