Over 100 killed in Myanmar landslides

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Nov 2015 12:57:31


YANGON, Nov 22 (AFP)


AROUND 100 people have died in a huge landslide in a remote jade mining area of northern Myanmar, officials said on Sunday, as search teams continued to find bodies in one of the deadliest disasters to strike the country’s shadowy jade industry.
Those killed were thought to have been scavenging through a mountain of waste rubble dumped by mechanical diggers used by mining firms in the area to extract Myanmar’s most valuable precious stone.
The massive landslide crushed dozens of flimsy shanty huts clustered on the barren landscape, where an unknown number of itinerant workers had made their homes in the hope of finding riches on the side of the secretive multi-billion dollar jade  
industry in war-torn Kachin state.
“We found 79 dead bodies on November 21 (and) 21 today so the total so far is 100,” said Nilar Myint an official from the local administrative authorities in Hpakant, northern Kachin, adding that the rescue operation was ongoing. “We are seeing only dead bodies and no one knows how many people live there,” he told AFP, adding that only one person had been pulled alive from the rubble, but had died soon after.
Myanmar is the source of virtually all of the world’s finest jadeite, an almost translucent green stone prized above almost all other materials in neighbouring China.