top of page

Myanmar: At least one dead, 70 missing in jade mine landslide

At least one person has died and 70 are missing after a landslide occurred at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar.

Rescue operations are under way, with most of the victims believed to be illegal jade miners.

The landslide occurred in the Hpakant area of Kachin state at around 04:00 local time on Wednesday (21:30 GMT Tuesday).

Myanmar is the world's biggest source of jade but its mines have seen numerous accidents over the years.

The landslide is believed to have been caused by an overflow of rubble discarded from lorries to the open-pit mines.

The rubble creates large slopes that can be dangerous in an area denuded of trees, forcing those scavenging for fragments of the semi-precious stone to labour in hazardous conditions.

Jade mining is banned in Hpakant, but locals often defy regulations, driven by lack of employment and impoverished conditions that have worsened from the Covid-19 pandemic.

bottom of page