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100 Killed in Landslide at Myanmar Jade Mine


Soldiers carry the bodies of miners killed by a landslide in a jade mining area in Hpakhant, in Myanmar's Kachin state, Nov. 22, 2015.

Soldiers carry the bodies of miners killed by a landslide in a jade mining area in Hpakhant, in Myanmar's Kachin state, Nov. 22, 2015.

Local officials say more people are missing after massive collapse in Hpakant, Kachin State.

The bodies of nearly 100 people have been recovered from a landslide near a jade mine in northern Myanmar.

Local officials say more 100 people remain missing after Saturday's massive collapse in Kachin state.

Officials say the collapse occurred overnight when many of the miners were sleeping. Search and rescue crews are still looking for survivors.

An official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said that the accident occurred near a mining site controlled by Triple One Jade Mining at around 3 a.m. on Saturday.

Kachin, around 950 kilometers (600 miles) northeast of Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, is home to some of the world's highest-quality jade and the industry brings in billions of dollars every year. .

Global Witness, an organization that investigates the misuse of revenue from natural resources, put the value of Myanmar's jade production as high as $31 billion in 2014. The group says "This figure equates to nearly half of the entire country's GDP [gross national product], and over 46 times national spending on health, yet the local population sees little benefit."

According to Global Witness, Myanmar's jade trade is "secretly controlled by networks of military elites, drug lords and crony companies" tied to the country's "darkest days of junta rule."

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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