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More Than 100 Killed In Myanmar Landslide

Dozens of bodies have been pulled from the rubble, which crashed over huts and people near a jade mine in Kachin state.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Minzayar Minzayar / Reuters

This file photo shows people searching for jade through rubble dumped by mining companies at a jade mine in Hpakant township, Kachin State, in 2013.

More than 100 people have been killed in Myanmar after a landslide of boulders and earth swept through a jade mine in the northeastern part of the country, according to reports.

Around 100 people are still missing following the landslide in the early of hours Saturday morning in the Hpakant township, according to Reuters.

The slide happened near a jade mine, with most of the victims believed to be villagers who sifted through waste looking for fragments of the valuable stone, the BBC reported. The area is said to produce some of the world's highest quality jade.

Tin Swe Myint, head of the Hpakant Township Administration Department, said some 97 bodies have been pulled from the landslide as of Sunday afternoon local time.

"We just don't know how many people exactly were buried since we don't have any data on people living there," he told Reuters. "It was just a slum with these... workers living in makeshift tents. Nobody knows for sure how many and where they had come from."

Hpakant is a desperately poor area and subject to constant electricity blackouts, according to the Associated Press.

"People were crying," Brang Seng, a jade businessman, told the AP of the disaster. "I'm hearing that more than 100 people died. In some cases, entire families were lost."

A state-run newspaper, The Global New Light of Myanmar, reported some 70 huts were buried in the avalanche of rocks and earth. Many miners were said to be asleep in the huts at the time of the landslide.

"We just heard a loud noise sounding like thunder and saw that the huge mountain collapsed and a huge wave of rubble was moving and sprawling on a wide area," witness Ko Sai told Reuters. "It was just like a nightmare."

Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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