UPDATED at 9:47 A.M. EST on 2019-01-29
Three workers were killed and one was injured when the wall of a rock quarry operating without a government permit collapsed in Taung Nyo village in northwestern Myanmar’s Sagaing region on Monday, a local fire official and rescue worker told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
Five people were working in the quarry, and three men and one woman were inside the mining area when rocks fell from an area about 12 feet above them, they said.
The dead included two men and one woman, they said.
The injured man was taken to a hospital in Mandalay, while emergency personnel tried to rescue two other workers, they said
Rescue teams arrived 30 minutes after the collapse, and soldiers, police, fire department members, and local NGO workers used machines to reach the miners, they said.
“It is an illegal quarry,” said Kyaw Kyaw Naing, assistant director of the Sagaing Region Fire Services Department. “They were mining with machines underneath [the area], and the top soil was soft. It collapsed because of vibrations from the machines.”
Rescue team member Lin Lin Oo said the female worker died of a head injury, and one of the men sustained a large cut on his waist from a big stone.
“We tried to rescue them in a way so as not to cause additional injuries,” he told RFA.
Rock quarries, which supply gravel for building and roadway construction, often collapse in this region, but nobody had died there before, locals said.
“It is dangerous to perform mining without proper safety equipment,” said Sagaing resident Aung Myint Tun. “It would be good to do this kind of work with a legal license and regulations for the use of safety equipment.”
Reported by Khaymani Win for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.