Dozens more jade miners killed in a landslide in northern Myanmar were buried today, a local official said, after 77 others were interred in a mass grave on Friday following one of the worst mining accidents in the country’s history.
More than 170 people, many of them migrants seeking their fortune in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state, died on Thursday after mining waste collapsed into a lake, triggering a surge of mud and water.
The miners were collecting stones in Hpakant – the centre of Myanmar’s secretive billion-dollar jade industry – when the wave crashed onto them, entombing them under a layer of mud.
Thar Lin Maung, a local official from the information ministry, told Reuters 171 bodies had been pulled out but more were continuing to float to the surface.
He said the 77 buried on Friday had been identified. Volunteers carried plywood coffins and placed them into a mass grave carved out by diggers close to the mine site.
Many other bodies, battered and stripped of their clothing by the force of the wave that hit them, have yet to be identified.