More than 50 feared dead after landslide at Myanmar jade mine

April 25, 2019 in Latest News, mining

More than 50 people were feared dead after a landslide in northern Myanmar engulfed jade miners while they were sleeping.

The accident took place near Maw Wun Kalay village in Hpakant township at about 11:30pm local time (17:00 GMT) on 23 April 2019 when a mud-filter pond, situated in an old mining site, collapsed.

A total of 54 staff from two private companies were buried under a mound of mining waste along with 40 machines and vehicles, said Tin Soe, a local official.

 

Most of the victims were identified as internal migrant workers who scavenge jade or pieces of the precious stones left over from company mining operations.The area is mined by the Myanmar Thura Gems and Shwe Nagar Koe Kaung companies.

Hpakant area is the centre of the country’s jade mining industry and produces some of the best-quality jade in the world.

 

Fatal landslides in the area are common with victims often from impoverished ethnic communities looking for scraps left behind by big firms.