5 die in Benguet forest fire
ITOGON, Benguet , Philippines — Five men including four foresters of the Philex Mining Corp. died in a fire that swept through a forest in Barangay Ampucao here on Wednesday afternoon.
The fatalites were identified as foresters Noel Dagiyem, Marlon Guiniguin, Dexter Labasan and Dante Molina, and Leon Mocate Sr., a local resident.
The victims were burned beyond recognition. Relatives identified them through the clothes and watches they were wearing.
The Bureau of Fire Protection in the Cordilleras said the blaze started at around 1:30 p.m.
The fire was declared under control at around 6 p.m., authorities said.
It destroyed around five to six hectares of forestlands and the storage area of Philex forestry department.
The blaze disrupted power supply in Benguet after it affected the cables of a power plant in Sitio Sal-angan.
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said power was restored at around 6:15 p.m.
Probers have yet to determine the cause of the blaze and the amount of damage to property.