Myanmar Jade Mine Buried in Landslide, Dozens Feared Missing

Rescue workers in Myanmar said at least one person died and around one hundred people were missing following a landslide at a jade mine in Kachin state, northern Myanmar, on Wednesday. 

According to Kachin Network Development Foundation officer Dashi Naw Lawn, the landslide happened at around 4.00 a.m. when dozens of people at the Hpakant mine were swept into the lake by mining waste. 

Rescuer Ko Nyi said about 200 members of the search and rescue teams were deployed to recover bodies, some using boats to search for the dead in a nearby lake.

Last year heavy rainfall triggered a massive landslide in Hpakant, the heart of Myanmar’s jade trade in Kachin state, killed more than 170 people.

Last weekend, local media reported at least six deaths in another mine landslide.

Rights groups said mining firms with links to military elites and ethnic armed groups make billions of dollars a year as Myanmar produces 90 percent of the world’s jade, most coming from Hpakant.

Last week, Global Witness said Myanmar’s military is now in control of the country’s multimillion-dollar gemstone industry.

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