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Massive landslide in Myanmar kills at least 90 people, more than 100 missing

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A massive landslide near a jade mine in the state of Kachin, northern Myanmar killed at least 90 people and left more than 100 missing on November 21, 2015. Most of them were scavengers sifting through a huge mountain of tailings and waste in the hope of finding fragments of jade to sell.

The landslide happened in Hpakant, an area that produces some of the world's highest quality jade.

The victims were buried when a vast heap of waste material, discarded by the mining companies, collapsed, media reported.

The slide also crushed dozens of huts clustered on the barren landscape, where an unknown number of itinerant workers had made their homes. Many of the miners were sleeping in huts when the landslide occurred, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

"Large companies, many of them owned by families of former generals, army companies, cronies and drug lords are making tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a year through their plunder of Hpakant," said Mike Davis of Global Witness, a group that investigates the misuse of revenue from natural resources.

Hpakant is "a dystopian wasteland where locals are literally having the ground cut from under their feet. Scores of people at a time are buried alive in landslides," Davis said calling on firms to be held accountable for accidents.

According to residents, there have been five similar accidents this year.

Video courtesy of Arirang News

Featured image credit: Arirang News

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