Mine Blast in Myanmar’s Sagaing Leaves One Dead, Three Badly Burned

By Zarni Mann 31 October 2019

MANDALAY – One death and three injuries occurred during a blast at a coal mine in Kyet Pa Nat Village in the Palu Zawa mining region about 50 kilometers northeast of Kalay in Sagaing Region on Wednesday, according to police. 

“Four coal miners were in the pit when the explosion occurred. They were rescued by their colleagues but one died and the other three were seriously injured,” said a Kalaywa police officer. 

According to the police, the coal mine is operated by the Htoo Han Thit Company and the accident was due to an explosion of methane. 

The body of U Win Lwin, 38, was sent to a mortuary at Kalay General Hospital. U Ae Tun, 44, U Saw Aung, 44, and U Zaw Min Aung, 38, suffered burns to more than 90 percent of their bodies. 

“The injured miners are in a serious condition in Kalay Hospital. We are investigating the incident and if the mine operator is suspected of poor safety procedures, legal action shall be taken,” said the police officer.

Coal mine accidents in Kalay and Kalaywa are common. On May 27, an explosion in the same village at a mine operated by Htoo Han Thit Company claimed four lives, including that of a Chinese technician, and left four injured. 

Another accident in Thit Chauk near Kalaywa, at a mine operated by the same company, occurred when methane exploded, injuring six miners, including a Chinese technician, on May 19.

On May 23, a coal mine in Chaung Sone Village in Kalaywa collapsed due to heavy rain and a miner was killed. 

In upper Sagaing, in Kalay, Tamu and Mawlaik townships, about 26 coal mining
companies are operating 43 mines across more than 24,000 hectares, according to the Ministry of Mines.

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