Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

At least 15 dead in Myanmar jade mine landslide

MYANMAR: At least 15 people have been killed and dozens injured in a landslide at an old jade mine in northern Myanmar, state media reported yesterday (July 15), as rains complicate the search for more victims.


Monday 16 July 2018, 09:10AM

Construction vehicles being used by workers at a jade mine in Hpakant, Myanmar’s Kachin State. Photo: Ye Aung Thu / AFP

Construction vehicles being used by workers at a jade mine in Hpakant, Myanmar’s Kachin State. Photo: Ye Aung Thu / AFP

The accident is the latest to strike the multibillion dollar industry centred in Kachin state, the source of most of the world’s jade.

The poorly regulated and murky business is fuelled by demand across the border in China where the near-translucent green gem is prized.

But the vast mines and deposits attract impoverished workers who are offered little in the way of protection as they risk life and limb to dig out profits from the soil.

Those who died were “searching for jade” at a defunct mine on Saturday (July 14) in Hpakant township when they were hit by a landslide, the Ministry of Information said on its official website.

Fourteen bodies were recovered and a 15th person died in hospital, it said. More than 45 people were being treated for injuries.

Long Long, a 30-year-old resident of Hpakant, said the landslide happened in a sub-township called Lone Khin.

“The rescue process found the dead bodies yesterday but this morning there is heavy rain here,” she said.

A security guard in the area who saw the landslide said there were probably more victims unaccounted for but monsoon rains made the search difficult yesterday.

The ministry said a rescue team of village authorities, firefighers and local NGOs had helped respond to the accident.

A number of deadly landslides have struck the area around Hpakant in recent years, with one major incident in November 2015 leaving more than 100 dead.

In May 17 people were killed in a mining compound in Hpakant township after a wall of rock collapsed when miners attempted to dig for jade under it.

The NGO Global Witness said the industry was worth some $31 billion (B1.034 trillion) in 2014 alone, with much of the funds not reaching state coffers.

Kachin is a resource-rich part of the country that has long played host to conflict between ethnic insurgents fighting for more autonomy and the Myanmar army.

More than 100,000 people have been displaced due to fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the military after a ceasefire broke down in 2011.

Thousands have fled their homes since the start of the year in response to a new bout of clashes.

Civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said ending Myanmar’s conflicts in its borderlands is a priority, but her administration had yet to make significant progress.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Three parasail operators caught with unsafe equipment

You have to admire thai safety standards: give prior warning of an inspection - three operators stil...(Read More)

Trash Talk: Tackling waste in Phuket

The Thai's treat the country as a trash bin. Like in that picture, they are totally comfortable ...(Read More)

Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

This is a nice little racket the Police have running. They allow the "rental agents" (anyo...(Read More)

Prayut set to retain grip on top job

"...Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is highly likely to reclaim premiership..." Is any...(Read More)

Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

Hilarious! All the punters on here complain about bike shops renting to tourists with no license, an...(Read More)

Three parasail operators caught with unsafe equipment

Missed Kamala off the list. Guess they aren't operating on a daily basis there!...(Read More)

Thailand bans Boeing 737 MAX flights for 7 days

Another one who cannot read and understand an article. Thai Lion Air is Indonesian. ...(Read More)

Democrats fall in Phuket

So much for the survey that said there would be a 97% turn out....(Read More)

No ‘tsunami alert’, just notice to be aware, says Phuket disaster chief

Perhaps these 'earth shakes' were warnings, for more heavy to come. And it is quite nearby....(Read More)

Egyptian tourist breaks arm in Freedom Beach fall

Did they still charge him a entry fee?...(Read More)