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Dozens feared dead in Myanmar’s jade mine landslide

Staff Writer |
Dozens of people are reportedly missing and feared dead after a landslide hit a jade mining region in Myanmar's restive Kachin state on Saturday, according to officials and witnesses.

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The landslide occurred in a jade mine in Kachin’s Hpakant Township on Saturday (2 p.m. local time), said township administrator Kyaw Swar Aung.

“[The] wall of an old pond of mud collapsed and muddy debris covered the area where many workers are reportedly working,” he told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

He confirmed that the incident killed at least 13 people and injured around 40.

“Thirteen bodies were recovered so far,” he said.

“According to witnesses, many workers are still missing,” he said, adding local authorities and civil society organization (CSO) members continue to search for survivors.

Htay Aung of a local CSO involved in the search and rescue efforts told Anadolu Agency that at least 30 people are believed to be still missing.

“At least 100 people were working there when the landslide occurred,” he said.

“However hope to find a survivor fades as the area has been completely under the muddy debris,” he said.

Deadly landslides are a common hazard in Kachin’s jade and gold mining industry as people living off the industry’s waste pick their way across perilous mounds under the cover of darkness, driven by the hope they might find a chunk of jade worth thousands of dollars.

At least 78 people were killed in previous 11 landslides in the area this year, according to the government.

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