By Kyaw Ye Lynn
YANGON, Myanmar (AA) - At least 18 people were feared dead after a landslide in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state, a jade mining area where hundreds of lives have been lost in similar incidents in recent years.
The latest incident happened when a 900-foot cliff collapsed at a jade mine in Kachin state’s Hpakant township in the wee hours of Sunday, according to Hpakant township Director Kyaw Swa Aung.
“Nine people from a jade mining company are still missing,” he said, adding six dead bodies were recovered as of Sunday (11 am local time).
The staff was assigned by the company to guard the mining plot when the incident occurred, he said.
He added that three police deployed at an outpost near the collapsed cliff also went missing.
Deadly landslide are common, especially in rainy season, in Hpakant, the center of the Myanmar’s jade mining industry and produces some of the best quality jade in the world.
Despite a three-month jade mining ban (July-September) was imposed by authority to prevent the deadly incidents, local people said illegal mining activities are thriving due to the corrupt officials and weak enforcement.