Authorities have closed off Sagada’s famous Sumaguing, Lumiang, and Crystal caves following a recent accident where a 15-year-old boy died.
According to InterAksyon, the boy identified as Rael Gambican slipped then fell to his death while playing inside the Crystal cave on Monday afternoon.
Rescue teams rushed Gambican, a local from the neighboring town of Ambasing to the Saint Theodore’s Hospital but he didn’t make it.
Locals apparently use back entrances to enter the winding cave system, which are deemed more dangerous than the mapped out and regularly used tourist entrances.
Sagada Tourism officer Robert Pangod for his part said it was the municipal government that ordered the temporary closure of the caves pending an investigation of the incident. For now, only the Balangagan cave is open to tourists.
In 2015, the Sumaguing Cave was closed off but it was due to the excess number of tourists in the cave system at that time.
The cave system, which boasts unique limestone formations like the King’s curtain, is touted by the Tourism Department as one of the top, must-see destinations of Sagada.
Here’s what it looks inside the caves.