Landslide at jade mine in Myanmar leaves at least 13 dead

At least 13 people have been confirmed dead and dozens are missing after a landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar’s Hpakant, in the country's Kachin state, the heart of the country’s lucrative greenstone industry.

Deadly accidents are, unfortunately, not unusual in Hpakant, where as much as 90% of the world's jade is mined, AP reports.

Miners work under extremely dangerous conditions, particularly those who pick through churned up material from large-scale machinery on unstable hillsides.

Deadly accidents are, unfortunately, not unusual in Hpakant, where as much as 90% of the world's jade is mined.

Jade mining, which has been in the hands of Myanmar's military and elites during the final years of junta rule, is not only a dangerous sector to work in.

A report last year by rights group Global Witness showed the business remains a key driver of conflict between the government and ethnic Kachin rebels, funding both sides in a war that has killed thousands and displaced around 100,000 since 2011.

Most of the jade extracted in Myanmar, which remains under US sanctions, is smuggled into China, where the so-called "stone of heaven" is considered a symbol of virtue and power, and it is believed to ward off evil spirits and improve health.

About 100 people were killed in a similar landslide in November last year, the worst such accident in recent memory.