April 3, 2013 – Tibetan Mining Disaster Kills 59: One after another, the bodies have kept coming. By Tuesday night, rescuers had pulled 59 dead miners from the snow-covered rubble. They expect to find more. Pictured above, Rescuers on Saturday headed to the disaster site to search through debris at a gold mine after a mudslide in the Gyama Valley in Tibet on Friday buried 83 people.
The miners had traveled to a valley on the roof of the world to work in what a state news agency described last year as “a mining miracle.” Now, the project in central Tibet has brought about one of the nation’s worst recent mining disasters. On Friday, an avalanche of rock and mud tumbled down the walls of the Gyama Valley and wiped out a mining camp, burying 83 people.
The deaths have thrown a spotlight on the Gyama mine, one of the largest and most contentious in Tibet. Hailed by the central government in Beijing as a flagship project, the copper, gold and molybdenum mining operation is hated by many Tibetans, who are furious at the environmental degradation it and other mines have caused on the Tibetan plateau.
“This was not a natural but a man-made disaster,” said Woeser, a Tibetan social critic who has written about the Gyama mine. “For locals, it says loud and clear how crazy the mining has become there.”
Official news reports have not explained the immediate cause of the avalanche. The Tibet regional propaganda office said in a statement on Wednesday that weather conditions were behind the landslide. The debris covered nearly two miles and totaled two million cubic meters, the news reports said. (Credits – The New York Times).
The Master of Disaster