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Apr 1, 2015

13:55:07 GMT--Landslide - Asia - Myanmar (Burma)

EDIS Number: LS-20150401-47580-MMR

Date / time: 01/04/2015 13:53:48 [UTC]

Event: Landslide

Area: Asia

Country: Myanmar (Burma)

State/County: State of Kachin

Location: Hpakant [Unnamed jade minde]

Number of Deads: 9 person(s)

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: 20 person(s)

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: Heavy


A rockslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar killed at least nine miners, and rescuers were searching for around 20 others, state media reported on Wednesday, two days after the accident. The miners were searching for pieces of jade in a 300-foot high heap of excavated rubble when it collapsed, the state-owned Myanma Alinn newspaper reported. The disaster happened near the town of Hpakant, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Mandalay, in an area where scores of mining companies operate. "The rescue work is continuing," the newspaper said. Accidents are frequent in Hpakant and victims are often "handpickers" -- independent miners who find jade fragments by combing through unstable mountains of rubble dumped by mining companies. At least two people were killed in a similar incident in January. Hpakant is the largest source of Myanmar jade, which netted $3.4 billion in sales at the annual gems emporium last October, according to The Irrawaddy, a Myanmar-focused website and magazine, which cited an official from the Mines Ministry. Estimated revenues from the illegal trade dwarf that figure.

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