Jade mine collapse in Myanmar kills over 100

Cheryl Sanders
July 2, 2020

The Myanmar Fire Services Department confirmed on social media that workers were digging for stones were swamped by mud and water when heavy rainfall caused the quarry to collapse.

Khin Maung Myint, a lawmaker from Hpakant, said local rescue services told him 99 bodies had been recovered and 54 injured people were sent to three hospitals. He warned that the death toll is expected to rise, but heavy rain had forced rescue efforts to be called off.

Rescue workers carrying the body of a victim after a landslide at a jade mining site in Myanmar

Photos posted on the Facebook page showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide. CNN has not independently verified the video.

The bodies of at least 50 jade miners had earlier been pulled from the mud Thursday after a landslide in northern Myanmar, as monsoon rains worsen already deadly conditions. In that case, the victims died when a 60-meter (200-foot)-high mountain of earth and waste discarded by several mines tumbled in the middle of the night, enveloping more than 70 huts where miners slept. People working as jade pickers often labor in perilous conditions, scrambling up and down the steep hills of rubble and loose shale.

A jade mine in Hpakant, #Myanmar, collapsed at around 6.30am local time on Thursday.

Myanmar is one of the world's biggest sources of jadeite and the industry is largely driven by insatiable demand for the translucent green gem from neighbouring China.

According to Global Witness, a London-based group that investigates misuse of revenues from natural resources, Myanmar's jade industry generated about $31 billion in 2014, with most of the wealth going to individuals and companies tied to the country's former military rulers.

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