Myanmar mudslide: Over 50 people killed after incident at jade mine

MP says it will be ‘very difficult’ to recover bodies from under the mud

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 23 April 2019 14:05
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More than 50 people are believed to have died in a mudslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant, Kachin state, Myanmar, 22 April 2019.
More than 50 people are believed to have died in a mudslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant, Kachin state, Myanmar, 22 April 2019.

An MP from a gemstone-rich area in the north of Myanmar has said that more than 50 people are believed to have died after a mudslide at a jade mining site.

Three bodies have been recovered, but 54 people remain missing, according to Tin Soe.

The accident happened late at night on Monday in the Hpakant area of Kachin state when a large refuse pile collapsed.

Such accidents are not uncommon, and usually occur when mountainous piles of mining scraps slide down on people scavenging pieces of jade.

Mr Soe said in this case the victims worked for two mining companies, indicating they were formally employed rather than scavengers.

He said it would be difficult to recover the bodies from under the mud.

“They won’t survive,” said the politician. “It is not possible because they are buried under mud.

“It is very difficult to retrieve the bodies.”

Hpakant’s fire brigade chief Aye Thein said a search was mounted after dawn on Tuesday and rescue efforts were still ongoing.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Information confirmed on Facebook that 54 workers were missing.

It identified the companies involved as Shwe Nagar Koe Kaung and Myanmar Thura.

Agencies contributed to this report

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