COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 July) – A 31-year old treasure hunter who dug inside a cave in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao died while two of his companions managed to get out and escape suffocation.
Maguindanao Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Officer Nasrullah Imam identified the victim as Anwar Zacaria, a resident of Barangay Dimapatoy of the said town.
Imam learned from the two survivors that they entered the cave in Sitio Nabilan, Barangay Dinaig on Tuesday to find gold bars they thought were hidden there.
But instead of finding gold they smelled toxic fumes inside the cave, the official said, quoting the survivors.
Imam said his office learned of the incident on Tuesday but they only retrieved Zacaria’s body the following day with help from the Bureau of Fire Protection, local police, and Makabagong Rescuers Team.
“It was a difficult retrieval operation, as the cave opening is so small and the rescue and retrieval team had to trek the difficult terrain,” he said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)