At least 23 people are dead and 80 are missing 11 days after a landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar’s Kachin state, but junta officials and the mine’s operators have yet to confirm the casualties and are seeking to keep the incident under wraps, aid workers and residents said Friday.
The landslide occurred on Feb. 28 in Hpakant township’s Mat Lin Gyaung village at a quarry that is jointly run by private firms Myanmar National Co. and Shan Yoma Co., according to sources. Jade mining has been illegal in Hpakant since 2019, but many companies defy the ban, and operations have increased in the area since the military seized power in a Feb. 1, 2021 coup.
On March 3, the military announced that no one had been killed in the incident, but two days later aid workers and family members of miners told RFA’s Myanmar Service that authorities had recovered the bodies of 23 people and buried them at the nearby Mat Lin Gyaung Cemetery.
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.