Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 120

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Media captionThe stone and mud wall slides into a flooded well

At least 126 bodies were found after a landslide at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar, officials said.

Rescue work continues for people who are still missing at the scene in the Hpakant area of ​​Kachin state.

A wave of mud and rock triggered by heavy rains engulfed the harvested stones, the Fire Department said.


Myanmar is the largest source of jade in the world, but its mines have suffered numerous accidents, many involving people who search for stones.

The country's fire department said in a Facebook post: "The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud, which hit after heavy rains."


Police said some people defied a warning issued on Wednesday not to work in the area after the rains, although the council may also have saved many lives.

BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says the video of the incident shows a landslide in a large flooded well. The sides then collapse, sending water down the valley.


Fire department images showed rescuers carrying bodies wrapped in tarps.

Maung Khaing, a 38-year-old miner, told Reuters he saw a pile of garbage near the collapse and people were shouting "run, run".

He said, "Within a minute, all the people at the bottom [of the hill] it simply disappeared. I feel empty in my heart … People were stuck in the mud screaming for help, but no one could help them. "

Hundreds of people gather in the mines to search through the discarded rubble of trucks, hoping to find jade stones.

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Myanmar Fire Services

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Rescuers are still working on the spot, where more people are missing

The rubble creates large slopes that can be dangerous in an area devoid of trees and similar to a lunar landscape.

More than 100 people died last year alone in mining sites.

Myanmar's jade trade is valued at more than $ 30 billion a year. Hpakant is the site of the largest jade mine in the world.

Our correspondent says a new gem mining law was passed last year, but critics say the government has few inspectors with limited authority to prevent illegal practices.

A landslide at a jade mine in Kachin in 2015 killed at least 90 people.

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Media captionMyanmar's deadly "jade rush"

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