Jade mine landslide kills at least 113 people in Myanmar

A landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar killed at least 113 people.

The incident took place in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state following heavy rainfall, the Myanmar Fire Services Department posted on Facebook.

“The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud,” the statement said. “A total of 113 bodies have been found so far.”

Rescue teams on site were wading through muddy waters while rescuing people.

Authorities expect the death toll to go beyond 113.

Landslides are common in Myanmar. Poor implementations of regulations and safety guidelines put many poor communities at risk.

Official sale of jade in Myanmar were worth $750.04m in 2016-2017, according to data published by the government as part of an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

But experts believe the true value of the industry, which mainly exports to China, is much larger.

Jade is prominently found in East,  South and Southeast Asia. Myanmar supplies 70% of the world’s supply of high-quality jadeite. Most of the jadeite mined in Myanmar is not cut for use in Myanmar, instead being transported to other nations, primarily in Asia, for use in jewelry and other products.