59 bodies recovered from Tibet gold mine



Beijing: Chinese rescuers have recovered 59 bodies form a gold mine in Tibet, where a massive landslide buried 83 workers.

The search for those remained buried has continued into a fifth day though no survivors have been found, and experts say the rescuers are threatened by possible secondary landslides, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday . Rescuers retrieved 23 bodies today.

About 3.5 million cubic meters of loose rocks remain on top of the mountain that served as the source of the landslide, posing a threat to the rescuers beneath, said Dorje, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Dorje has conducted a field investigation into the cause of the disaster, which overseas Tibet groups blamed it aggressive exploitation of the natural resources.

An estimated 2 million cubic meters of mud, rocks and debris struck a workers' camp of the Jiama Copper Polymetallic Mine of Tibet Huatailong Mining Development Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the country's largest gold producer, China National Gold Group Corporation.

Dorje said the area from which the landslide originated was previously covered by large glaciers. Rocks hidden under the glaciers broke into smaller, loose rocks over a long period of time due to thermal expansion and contraction stress, as well as rainy and snowy weather.

Rescue efforts by more than 4,500 personnel have been ongoing, although they had to halt their work briefly yesterday due to fear of new landslides.

PTI