Soco asked to probe death of 2 men in sunken vessel-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
THE Philippine Coast Guard has sought the help of the Scene of the Crime Operations (Soco) to determine what caused the death of two men who were found inside the sunken cargo vessel off the coast of Barangay Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City.
Alger Sumaylo and Glenn Pahit, both employees of a salvaging company, were found by divers of Coast Guard (CG) last Thursday afternoon inside the mv B&E Uno, which sank in July last year.
CG Cebu Commander Weniel Azcuna said they are investigating whether there was negligence on the part of Omega Steel and Marine Services, the firm commissioned to salvage the vessel.
He said the CG detachment in Mandaue City has requested the Soco to check the area where the bodies of Sumaylo and Pahit were found.
Azcuna said they are not discounting the possibility that there might be foul play.
He said Sumaylo and Pahit, employees of the Omega Steel and Marine Services, were assigned to keep watch over the sunken cargo vessel.
According to a CG report, the two did not have permission to dive and were not wearing diving gears.
Aurelio Pitogo, owner of the salvaging firm, said Sumaylo and Pahit may have dived into the water to get scrap material while other workers were away.
Both bodies, which were already decomposing, were turned over to the St. Anne Funeral Parlor.
Pitogo has requested the police to conduct an autopsy on the bodies.
He also assured that the company will shoulder the victims' burial expenses.
The salvaging company has been dismantling the sunken cargo vessel since late last year.
The mv B&E Uno, which carried 23,000 bags of cement, sank after running aground less than a mile from the coast of Canjulao.
Oil had been siphoned from the vessel and its load of 23,000 sacks of cement had been retrieved.
The vessel ran aground and tilted before it sank past 9 p.m. on July1, 2012.
It came from Iligan City and was on its way to Pier 4 in Cebu City.
Some of the crew members were rescued while others swam safely to shore.
The owner has assigned personnel to guard the sunken vessel from thieves. An anchor was reportedly stolen a few weeks after the vessel sank.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2013.