Tuesday, August 4, 2020 | ePaper

Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 146

  • Print


People carry a dead body following a landslide at a mining site in Phakant, Kachin State City in Myanmar on Thursday.



At least 146 bodies have been found after a landslide at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar, officials say.
Rescue work is continuing for people still missing at the site in the Hpakant area of Kachin state.
A wave of mud and rock triggered by heavy rain engulfed those collecting stones, the fire service said.
Myanmar is the world's biggest source of jade but its mines have seen numerous accidents, many involving people who scavenge for stones.
The country's fire service department said in a Facebook post: "The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud, which hit after heavy rainfall."
Police said some people had defied a warning issued on Wednesday not to work in the area after the rainfall, although the advice may also have saved many lives.
The BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says video of the incident shows a massive landslide pouring into a large flooded pit. The sides then collapse sending water surging into the valley below.
Fire service department images showed rescuers carrying away bodies wrapped in tarpaulins.
Maung Khaing, a 38-year-old miner, told Reuters he saw a towering pile of waste close to collapse and people were shouting "run, run".
He said: "Within a minute, all the people at the bottom [of the hill] just disappeared. I feel empty in my heart... There were people stuck in the mud shouting for help but no-one could help them."
Hundreds of people gather at mines to sift through rubble discarded from lorries, hoping to find jade stones.
The rubble creates large slopes that can be dangerous in an area denuded of trees and resembling a moonscape.
More than 100 people died last year alone at mining sites.
Myanmar's jade trade is reported to be worth more than $30bn (£24bn) a year. Hpakant is the site of the world's biggest jade mine.
Our correspondent says a new gemstone mining law was passed last year, but critics say the government has too few inspectors with only limited authority to stop illegal practices.
A landslide at a jade mine in Kachin in 2015 killed at least 90 people.

More News For this Category

Article 370: Curfew in Kashmir as protesters plan `black day`

Article 370: Curfew in Kashmir as protesters plan `black day`

Curfew has been imposed in Indian-administered Kashmir in anticipation of protests ahead of 5 August - the day the government stripped the region of its special status.Officials say the curfew

Hurricane Isaias heads for Carolinas

Coastal communities in the Carolinas are bracing for Hurricane Isaias, which is heading for the US eastern seaboard.The National Hurricane Center predicts it will hit between north-eastern South Carolina and

There may never be a `silver bullet` for COVID-19, WHO warns

There may never be a `silver bullet` for COVID-19, WHO warns

Reuters : The World Health Organisation warned on Monday that, despite strong hopes for a vaccine, there might never be a ``silver bullet`` for COVID-19, and the road to normality

Islamic State group claims deadly attack on Afghanistan prison

Islamic State group claims deadly attack on Afghanistan prison

At least 29 people have been killed in a high-profile attack on a central prison in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad which saw more than 1,000 prisoners try to

Bangladesh records 30 more virus deaths, cases rise by 1,356

Bangladesh has registered 30 fatalities from the novel coronavirus infection in a daily count, bringing the death toll to 3,184.The tally of infections rose to 242,102 on the back of

Government reconstitutes committee to probe police killing of ex-army major

Government reconstitutes committee to probe police killing of ex-army major

The government has reconstituted the committee with a joint secretary-level official at the helm to investigate police shooting death former army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan at a checkpoint in

20 policemen removed over killing of ex-army major at Cox`s Bazar checkpoint

Police have withdrawn 20 of their members over the killing of a retired army major in a firing at a checkpoint in Cox’s Bazar.The withdrawn policemen include Liakat Ali, the

As the pandemic recedes, let migrants move again

EVERY COUNTRY in the world has closed or partly closed its borders since the pandemic began. In total, they have issued more than 65,000 restrictions on mobility. For some places,

Kuwait bans air travellers from Bangladesh, 30 other countries over coronavirus risks

Kuwait has banned foreign air passengers from Bangladesh and 30 other countries until further notice flagging them as ``high risk`` due to the spread of the coronavirus.The restrictions include passengers

We must learn to live with this virus: WHO chief

We must learn to live with this virus: WHO chief

The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the effects of coronavirus will be felt for decades to come and urged everyone to learn to live the