A landslide incident in Barangay Canlawis, Pintuyan, Southern Leyte resulted to the death of three men last July 31. (Photo Courtesy)

ORMOC CITY- At least three persons were buried alive after a landslide hit near a dried river where they were excavating in Barangay Canlawis, Pintuyan, Southern Leyte Friday (July 31) afternoon.
Town police chief Lt. Col Omar Bagasbas identified the fatalities as Ruben Gulbao, 20, single and native of Tampoong, Sogod, Southern Leyte; Adelberto Gales, Jr., 35, single and resident of PD Equipilag village in Pintuyan town, both are laborers; and Joel Malque, married, 43 and living in the village where the incident occurred.
Bagasbas said in a phone interview that the three were sacking sand and gravel near the slope at estimated height of 35 meters at the side of a dried river when the soil containing rocks eroded and covered the victims.
When police arrived at the scene, some people from the community, roughly half a kilometer distance, were already digging with the use of shovel to rescue the victims. They came to help the town rescuers and able to retrieve two bodies. Another body was recovered with the use of a backhoe.
The three were rushed to the town district hospital but were pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician Dr. Jude Aspirin.
Bagasbas said that the landslide area used to be a quarrying site but excavation was discontinued by the local government being unsafe already.
However, residents nearby continue excavation activities of small volumes for meager income. Heavy rains on the past days softened the soil and slight movement on the ground may have resulted to the landslide, he added.