Video footage taken on the evening of 22 November showed workers using cranes to search for victims of a landslide near a jade mine in northern Myanmar. Hopes were fading on 23 November that any of the 100 people still missing would be found alive, two days after the landslide smashed into a makeshift settlement, burying mine workers as they slept. Rescue workers had recovered 104 bodies when the search was suspended on Sunday night, state newspaper the Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday.
It is unclear what caused a mountain of mining debris to give way early on 21 November in Hpakant, a mountainous area in northern Kachin State that produces some of the world's highest-quality jade. The mines and soil dump sites are hazardous and deaths among workers picking through the slag piles for jade are common. Workers, many of them migrants from elsewhere in Myanmar, toil long hours in dangerous conditions searching for the precious stones.
Much of the jade that is mined in Hpakant is believed to be smuggled to neighbouring China, where the stone is highly valued. The value of jade production in Myanmar is estimated to have been around $31bn (£20.5bn) in 2014, according to researchers from environmental advocacy group Global Witness, which published a report on the opaque sector earlier this year.