Myanmar: More than 160 killed in jade mine landslide

A landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has killed at least 162 people and wounded another 54, officials say, in one of the worst-ever accidents to hit the treacherous industry.

The incident took place early on Thursday in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state after a bout of heavy rainfall, the Myanmar Fire Services Department said on Facebook.

"By 7:15 pm, 162 bodies were found, and 54 injured people were sent" to nearby hospitals, Myanmar's fire service department said on its official Facebook page. 

"The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud," the statement said. 

Photos posted on the Facebook page showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide.

Northern Myanmar's abundant natural resources - including jade, timber, gold and amber - have also helped finance both sides of a decades-long conflict between ethnic Kachin and the military.

The fight to control the mines and the revenues they bring frequently traps local civilians in the middle.

                                                 

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