At least nine miners have died in a rockslide at a jade mine near the town of Hpakant, 350km north of Mandalay in northern Myanmar.

Following the accident, rescuers are searching for a further 20 people who are missing, according to media sources.

Reuters quoted the state-owned Myanma Alinn newspaper, which reported that the incident ocurred when independent workers were looking for fragments of jade in a 300ft-high heap of excavated rubble.

"Independent workers were looking for fragments of jade in a 300ft-high heap of excavated rubble."

It is believed that a large amount of loose earth outside the Hpakant mine was combed through and partially collapsed.

The newspaper said that Hpakant draws prospectors who pick through dangerous rubble mounds left by mining companies and accidents are common.

After the incident, authorities were alerted and two injured men were taken to the local hospital.

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Channel NewsAsia stated that up to 90% of the world’s jadeite is mined in Hpakant.

A similar incident happened in Hpakant in January, when two people were killed in a landslide after heavy rains loosened a heap of debris dumped near a jade mine in the area.