Manila: Residents from four villages in Batangas who were evacuated on Tuesday evening were allowed to return to their homes, several hours after local authorities declared an emergency after three workers died from effects of a toxic gas leak.

The Department of Health (DOH) allowed some 2,000 residents living in the villages of Santa Maria, San Pedro, Baguilawa and San Miguel in Bauan town to return to their residences after experts declared the affected areas safe from toxic fumes.

On Tuesday, three workers at a barge repair facility owned by the oil company, Chevron in Santa Maria died after inhaling noxious gases while working.

The workers, whom reports identified as Jhunel Almogera, 40; Charmeil Allego, 23; and a certain Waray, 45, were removing sand from the bottom of the docked barge when they died.