Myanmar landslide kills 13, leaves dozens missing

At least 13 people were killed by a landslide in Myanmar's northern jade-mining region that left dozens missing, an official said Tuesday.

Two piles of mining debris collapsed late Monday after two days of rain, said Myo Thet Aung, deputy head of Hpakant Township Administration Office in Kachin State.

“We recovered 11 bodies last night and 2 more this morning,” he said.

The search was continuing and the death toll expected to rise, he said.

“Witnesses said there were about a hundred workers when the accident occurred,” he told dpa by phone. "Many are still buried."

Earlier this month, at least 13 people were killed in a similar landslide in the same region, known for supplying some of the highest-quality jade in the world.

In November 2015 in the same area, at least 113 people were killed in a large landslide.

The jade industry in Myanmar is dominated by companies linked to leaders of the previous military government, ethnic rebels and businessmen with close connections to the former junta.

A civilian administration took power this year for the first time in decades.

Jade production in Myanmar was worth around 31 billion US dollars in 2014, according to environmental advocacy group Global Witness.

Last update: Tue, 24/05/2016 - 11:56

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