Two high school students died and another was injured and is now confined in a hospital in Dumaguete City after the freak collapse of a hillside in a remote hinterland barangay of Pamplona, Negros Oriental, at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
The fatalities were identified in an initial police report as Kiram Quibate, 14, a freshman and resident of Barangay Fatima, and Leogen Baya, a junior high school student and resident of Barangay Calicanan, both in Pamplona town.
Both were declared dead on arrival at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital. Another student, identified by the police as Beltran Anfone Jr., 13 a freshman and resident of Calicanan, is now recuperating at the NOPH.
Sr. Insp. Al Enriquez, Pamplona police chief, said the three, and other students, were digging and collecting soil for a school concreting project when the hillside collapsed. The hillside, apparently drenched by rains in previous days, is near the school, and is an “excavation” site also used by residents.
The school principal, teachers and parents had earlier held a general meeting and agreed to the school project, Enriquez said.
Some teachers were reportedly present when the incident happened, he added.
Members of the CAFGU paramilitary group, teachers and residents scrambled to dig up the soil the students buried under it.
Responding policemen from Pamplona, who had to take the long route, through Sta. Catalina, arrived several hours later Enriquez said.
The victims were taken to the NOPH in Dumaguete at 4 a.m. yesterday, he added.
The police have invited the principal, teachers and parents to the police station for further investigation of the incident.*JFP
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