Monday 23 November 2015

Hundreds feared dead following landslide at Myanmar jade mine.

One hundred and five people have now been confirmed dead and over a hundred are still thought to be missing following a landslide at a jade mine at Hpakant in Kachin State, Myanmar on Saturday 21 November 2015. The event is understood to have occurred in the early hours of the morning, with material from a spoil heap produced by one of the major mining companies operating in the area sliding onto an area covered by makeshift homes occupied by local artisanal miners, who work the spoil heaps produced by larger companies in the hope of finding small amounts of valuable jade,

Rescue workers retrieving bodies from the 21 November 2015 Hpakant jade mine landslide.  AFP./Getty Images..

Myanmar is the world's largest producer of jade, though much of this is produced (along with other precious and semi-precious minerals such as amber) at unregulated (and often illegal) artisanal mines in the north of the country, from where it is smuggled into neighbouring China. Accidents at such mines are extremely common, due to the more-or-less total absence of any safety precautions at the site. At many sites this is made worse by the unregulated use of explosives to break up rocks, often leading to the weakening of rock faces, which can then collapse without warning.

The approximate location of the Hpakant jade mines. Google Maps.

See also... kills at least nine at Myanmar jade mine.                                                            Nine people have been confirmed dead and about twenty more are thought to still be missing following a rockslide on a spill heap at a jade mine at Hpakant in Kachin State, Myanmar, on Monday 20 March 2015. All the people caught in the landslide are understood...

Two people are known to have died and around 40 more are missing following a landslide at a jade mine at Hpakant in Kachin Province in northern Myanmar on... killed by landslide at Myanmar jade mine.                                                             Six people have been killed and another four injured in a landslide at an unlicensed jade mine near Hpakant in Kachin State in northeast Myanmar (Burma) on...


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