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Video Shows Massive Mine Collapse That Took 120 Lives

'I feel empty in my heart,' says a Myanmar miner
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2020 7:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – At least 126 people are dead after a terrifying mine collapse buried workers in a wave of rock and mud Thursday in Myanmar, the BBC reports. Officials say rainfall caused a heap of muddy waste to crumble at the jade mine in Hpakant township in Kachin state, setting off the fatal wave. Video shows the landslide plunging into an open pit amid cries for help. "Within a minute, all the people at the bottom [of the hill] just disappeared," a miner tells Reuters. "I feel empty in my heart. I still have goose bumps ... There were people stuck in the mud shouting for help, but no one could help them."

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Jade mining is notoriously dangerous in Kachin, where the New York Times reports hazardous conditions have caused mine collapses before. Over 50 died in a similar collapse last year, while dozens were consumed in a 2018 landslide and 120 or more died in 2015 after a failure of the muddy waste, which is known as tailings. The victims are often freelance miners who work near huge mounds of abandoned earth that heavy machinery has already mined, per Fox News. The miners scavenge for pieces of jade and often live and work beneath the mounds, which can be unsafe during rainy season. (Read more mine collapse stories.)

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