An estimated 100 miners feared dead in Phakant landslide


Photo: Ko Paw Myo Sut Aung

Local people from Lonekhin village-tracts said that about 100 Yaymasay jade miners (rag picker miners from waste earth dumpsites) were feared dead in a landslide which occurred near west of Sankha village, Longkhin village tracts, Phakant Township, Kachin State, yesterday.

Local resident Thaung Wai said that about 200 yaymasay miners were searching and picking up jade when the landslide took place at about 2 p.m. on July 14.

Fourteen dead bodies have been found so far on the landslide site and 47 miners were admitted at Lonekhin sub-township hospital, Phakant Township. Out of these 47 injured miners two were in critical condition and died while being transferred to Myitkyina hospital.

Local resident Thaung Wai told Mizzima, “At least 100 miners died in this landslide. It is very hard to retrieve these dead bodies as the mud is 6-foot deep. I don’t see anyone retrieve dead bodies today.”

He added that landslide took place in about 40 mine pits and some workers were working with backhoe earth movers and about 25 more yaymasay jade miners were searching jade in that area too.

“Backhoe driver and 20-25 more yaymasay jade miners were working when the landslide occurred. Only one or two lucky people escaped from this mishap. I think all of them died in that accident,” he added.

About five mining companies are working near this dump site.

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