Saturday 22 March 2014

Six 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 Monday 17 March 2014. The victims were reportedly working a rock face when it collapsed upon them.

The approximate location of the 17 March 2014 Kachin State jade mine landslide. Google Maps.

Myanmar is the world's largest producer of jade, though this is largely produced (along with other precious and semi-precious minerals) at unregulated (and 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.