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One Person Killed in Landslide at Myanmar Jade Mine

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People stand while members of rescue team search for missing people at a jade mining area, Dec. 22, 2021, in Hpakant, Kachin State, northern Myanmar.

At least one person is confirmed dead and 70 others missing after a landslide Wednesday at a jade mine in northern Myanmar Wednesday.

The disaster occurred before dawn in the Hpakant area of Kachin state, the heart of the country’s jade industry. Rescue workers say the landslide swept away dozens of workers into a nearby lake.

The French news agency AFP said a member of the rescue team confirmed that 25 people have been injured and hospitalized.

Landslides are a common occurrence for Myanmar’s lucrative but poorly-regulated jade mining industry, which employs migrants and workers from across Myanmar to dig for the precioius gems that are sold across the border in China. Hundreds of miners were killed last year when a landslide triggered a massive landslide in Hpakant.

The government of Aung San Suu Kyi began efforts to reform the jade mining industry, but those efforts came to a halt when the military took power in the February 1, 2021 coup.

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