'Tibet mine disaster due to large scale exploitation by China'


The massive landslide that engulfed a gold mine in Tibet was result of "aggressive expansion" of the colliery in which fewer Tibetans are employed, Tibet's government in exile has alleged, as rescuers found 17 bodies out of the 83 miners buried in the avalanche.

Fifteen more bodies were retrieved today at the site of landslide in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, taking the number of total bodies recovered to 17 since the landslide occurred two days ago in Maizhokunggar County, about 68 km from regional capital Lhasa, rescuers said.

Another 66 miners remained missing. In two locations near the area where the three bodies were found, rescuers retrieved articles such as tents, clothes and kitchen

That has led them to believe more miners might be buried under debris at these two locations. The disaster struck a workers' camp of the Jiama Copper Polymetallic Mine on Friday, burying 83 workers.

The huge amount of debris at the 4,600-meter altitude and snowy weather hampered rescue efforts. The survival chances of the missing miners are believed slim, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Dharamsala-based Tibetan government in exile has alleged that the incident could be a result of the aggressive expansion and large-scale exploitation of mineral in the Gyama Valley, a man-made phenomenon rather than just a

"natural disaster".

In a statement circulated to the media, the press unit of the 'Central Tibetan Administration' has said the large scale polymetallic deposit consisting of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver lead and zinc with the potential to become the China's

biggest copper producer in 10 years.

But at the same time Gyama mine has been a major failure in terms of the social harmony and environmental protection in the area, it said.

Meanwhile, soldiers and armed policemen have been racing against time to sift through the debris in the hope of finding buried miners. They have been digging in shifts, while the machines ran day and night without any stop.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.