CEBU (Updated with corrections) -- Three persons, including two young boys, died after the strong current of a river in Sitio Riverside, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, swept them away during the heavy downpour Friday.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak identified those who died as John Carlo Taran, 8; his brother Juros Taran, 9; and Arturo Cabradilla, 26.
The three were among a group of people who had stood on a wooden footbridge while some of them tried to catch a snake.
The bridge collapsed.
Warlito Limpios Jr., a resident who was among those who helped in the rescue operation, said that some people who were on the wooden footbridge were cheering, while some of his neighbors tried to get the snake.
“Sa ila sigurong kabug-at unya uwan-uwan pa gyod, gabok sad ang bridge mao to nga nahugno gyod (The bridge was weak to begin with and must have weakened further because of the rain. Their combined weight brought it down),” Limpios said.
Although most of his neighbors know how to swim, Limpios said, the conditions made it difficult for people to swim to safety.
During the heavy rain, water in the river rose by as much as four feet, Tumulak said.
Among those who were rescued were Nestor Taran, Renny Remorosa, Regie Remorosa; Benjamin Singson, 17; CJ Delatre, 17; James Crocolas, 28; Urvil Lawas, 15; and Jun Niño Taran, 15.
Tumulak said the accident happened past 10 a.m. but it took few hours for the rescuers to recover the bodies.
Juros was found in the portion of the river near Katipunan St. in Barangay Labangon, while Cabradilla was recovered in the Banawa area past 2 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., John Carlo was found near the South Road Properties.
An older brother of the Tarans, 10-year-old John Dave, was also among those who fell into the river. He said he would have wanted to save his brothers but the strong currents prevented him from reaching them.
“I wanted to save them because I know how to swim but they were too far away from me already because the current was so strong,” John Dave said.
The mother of the Taran brothers was outside their house, located along the riverbank.
Guadalupe Barangay Captain Michael Gacasan said that residents who are illegal settlers in the area were already advised to transfer long before the accident.
Gacasan said the barangay plans not to repair the wooden bridge, which is the only access for more than 10 families to the main road. He hopes that would convince them to leave.
He added that the barangay will ask the City to identify a relocation site for those who are not yet beneficiaries of its socialized housing program. “This time, we will strictly enforce their relocation,” Gacasan said.
Watch this video taken by Alan Tangcawan of Superbalita Cebu.
CORRECTION. The boy that was found dead in the video was not Carlo Taran as earlier reported, but Juros Taran.