A common view reveals the aftermath of the landslide at a jade mine close to Hpakant in Kachin state. Picture by STR/AFP
Not less than 17 individuals are feared useless after a landslide trapped dozens of staff inside a Myanmar jade mine, sources and native media stated Tuesday.
The incident got here on Monday night close to Hpakant township in northern Kachin state — the identical area the place a large landslide in 2020 entombed 300 staff within the nation’s worst ever mine catastrophe.
Photos of the scene confirmed the aftermath of the landslide, with a broad swathe of brown earth and rock protecting the pockmarked facet of a hill.
An area supply stated “17 our bodies had been discovered thus far”, however AFP was unable to independently affirm these figures.
The supply added that the mine’s house owners — Yangon Technical and Buying and selling Co., a agency linked to the nation’s navy which took energy final yr in a coup that despatched the nation into turmoil — had thus far prevented rescue groups from getting into the realm.
Native media and sources within the space stated that 40 folks had been buried within the landslide, which struck round 10:30 pm.
Dozens die yearly whereas working in Myanmar’s extremely profitable however poorly regulated jade trade, which makes use of low-paid migrant staff to scrape out a gem extremely coveted in neighboring China.
Jade and different considerable pure assets within the nation’s north — together with timber, gold and amber — have helped finance either side of a decades-long civil battle between ethnic Kachin insurgents and the navy.
Civilians are ceaselessly trapped in the course of the struggle for management of the mines and their profitable revenues, with a rampant drug and arms commerce additional curdling the battle.
“The employees’ rights in jade mines are by no means ensured by regulation — each time they die in a landslide, they get a small compensation in the long run,” stated one native environmental activist, who declined to be named.
The navy coup in February 2021 additionally successfully extinguished any probability of reforms to the harmful and unregulated trade, watchdog World Witness stated in a report this yr.