05 Jan '12, 2am
At least 25 dead in Philippine landslide
MANILA (AFP) - The death toll from a landslide at a Philippine gold rush site on Thursday climbed to 25 with the recovery of more bodies, police said. Chief Superintendent Jaime Morente, the regional police chief, said nine more bodies had been found on top of the 16 bodies recovered earlier at the site of the pre-dawn disaster. The landslip struck a remote mountain community near Pantukan town on Mindanao island, and an army unit was digging out buried houses and bodies using shovels and other hand tools, civil defence chief Benito Ramos told AFP. Pantukan and nearby Monkayo town have drawn thousands of gold prospectors for years, and the largely unregulated mining activities have triggered a series of deadly accidents. 'These are small-scale miners who tunnel into the side of the mountains like rats,' Mr Ramos said.