BANGKOK – At least 17 people have been killed while dozens were feared trapped under debris after a landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state.
More than 100 people were in the mine at the time of the landslide, which occurred on Saturday, and dozens were missing before authorities called off the search because of bad weather.
According to a report from a hospital in the city of Hpakant, 17 people were confirmed dead, with many more injured.
Jade mine accidents are common in Myanmar, where the last major accident took place in January, in which six people were killed in a landslide at an abandoned mine in Kachin.
In a 2015 report, nonprofit Global Witness revealed that the jade miners work in dangerous conditions and are often exploited by warlords, drug traffickers and military officers.
Myanmar is the biggest producer of jadeite, a valuable variety of jade, which is mainly mined in mountains of Kachin.