Myanmar mine mishap: More bodies to be interred in mass graves
August 13, 2020

Myanmar mine mishap: More bodies to be interred in mass graves

YANGON (MYANMAR) – After as many as 77 bodies of jade mine workers killed in a landslide in north Myanmar were buried in a mass grave on Friday, dozens more will be interred on Saturday, said an official.

More than 170 people, most of them migrants seeking better prospects in jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state, lost their lives on Thursday when a huge pile of mining debris collapsed into a lake triggering a surge of mud and water.

According to Thar Lin Maung, a local information ministry official, by Saturday 171 bodies were retrieved although more are continuing to surface.

The official said the bodies were placed in plywood coffins and interred in a mass grave near the mining site. Many of the mangled remains are yet to be identified.

The country supplies 90% of the world’s jade requirement and the bulk of it is exported to China, which has a border with Kachin state. The Myanmar jade mines are notorious for deadly landslides and other accidents.

As many as 100 miners lost their lives in 2015 and that sparked demands to regulate the industry. Last year, 50 lives were lost. But the incident on Thursday is the worst to hit the region.

Meanwhile, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday said the disaster was linked to joblessness. In a Facebook live broadcast she said unskilled workers often go to the mines as they do not get other jobs.

The government said it would form a committee to probe the disaster.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field

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