MP raises worksite safety issue as Magway faces coal mine collapses

Aung Thu Nyein

A member of Magway Region Parliament has questioned worksite safety in coal mines with the region that has experienced coal mines collapse two times.

MP Thaung Shwe for Natmauk Township Constituency No (1) raised the question during a regular session of Magway Region Parliament held on October 5.

He inquired of any measures to ensure the enforcement of the existing law, rules, regulations and instructions related to worksite safety in 31 local coal mining blocks in the region.

"Eight people died and one was badly injured in a coal mine collapse and landslide near Kyaukmyaung Village, Kyaukswe Village-tract, Saw Township, on September 6 and 7 this year. Four other people luckily survived," said MP Thaung Shwe.

Magway Region Minister for Natural Resources, Electricity and Energy Myint Zaw told Eleven Media Group that "With the consultation of the union minister, about a month and a half ago, we opened an office to supervise mining work, educate mining companies and workers and disseminate knowledge about environmental conservation. We will make field trips weekly and monthly to disseminate knowledge about dos and don’ts. Moreover, we will provide knowledge to workers about dos and don'ts and carrying of oxygen and methane measuring equipment. Educative measures will be taken both for companies and workers. We will also organize mining workers to contribute to social security funds."

Magway Region has 31 coal mines run by 24 companies. A coal mine collapse from Hanhtet coal block near Shwesattaw Pagoda between Ngaphe and Minbu (Saku) townships in 2017 killed some deaths including A Chinese and two local interpreters. The coal mine was shut down as a result.