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Feature: Broken dreams at landslide-hit Tibetan mine


08:56, April 03, 2013

Though it might take years of hard work in a Tibetan mine for Zhao Linjiang to realize his dream of lifting his family out of poverty, it took just minutes for the dream to crumble.

Last week, Zhao left his drilling post at the Jiama Copper Polymetallic Mine to purchase tents in Lhasa, the regional capital of Tibet.

On Friday, he received a confusing call from his boss, who asked him to return immediately. On his way back to work, Zhao tried to call his relatives who also worked at the mine, but nobody answered.

When he got back to the mine, he found that it was no longer there. Instead, there was a mile-long pile of rocks in the place of the workers' camp, and 83 workers, including his 23-year-old brother Zhao Malin and six other relatives, were nowhere to be found.

"It was as if the world had just collapsed," Zhao said.

Dumbfounded, Zhao's first reaction was to reach for his mobile phone and call his family back home in mountainous Guizhou Province. When his sister-in-law answered, he found himself overcome with grief.

"I couldn't tell her, I just kept crying."

Zhao was the only miner to escape the landslide that hit the polymetal mine in Maizhokunggar County near Lhasa at about 6 a.m. Friday, burying 83 workers who were presumably sleeping.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, 36 bodies had been retrieved from the site. More than 4,000 rescuers are still searching for the 47 missing miners, though their odds of survival are slim.

Like Zhao, the families of other miners were hit hard by the news.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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