Landslide at Myanmar’s jade mine kills 13

8 May 2016 (Last Updated May 8th, 2016 18:30)

At least 13 people have died following a collapsed mound of excavated earth at a jade mine in Hpakhan township in Kachin state, Myanmar.

At least 13 people have died following a collapsed mound of excavated earth at a jade mine in Hpakhan township in Kachin state, Myanmar.

The victims were searching for pieces of jade on the top of the 150ft-high mound before it collapsed, Xinhua news agency reported.

More people are believed to still be buried underneath the waste.

Heavy equipment used to mine jade leaves behind small pieces in waste soil that is then piled into huge mounds. This causes risks to people in close proximity to the piled earth.

"More people are believed to still be buried underneath the waste."

In January, a landslide at a jade mine near Lone Khin village around 15km north of Hpakant killed at least six people and trapped 20 others.

The landslide took place at the site of the Moepin jade mine when miners were searching for gemstones on a mountainside.

Operator Yadanar Yaung Chi Work suspended work at the mine following the incident.

A similar incident that occurred in November 2015 killed more than 100 people.

As much as 90% of the world's jade is mined in Hpakant. In 2015, more than 40 landslides are believed to have occurred in the town.