Myanmar Mine Landslide Kills 70

Myanmar Mine Landslide Kills 70Myanmar Mine Landslide Kills 70

A landslide near a jade mine in northern Myanmar killed up to 70 people and left more than 100 missing, most of them villagers sifting through a huge mountain of tailings and waste, a community leader and businessman said Sunday.

The collapse occurred Saturday afternoon in Kachin state, said Brang Seng, a jade businessman, describing rows of bodies pulled from the debris, AP reported.

"There were more than 70. This is awfully bad."

Lamai Gum Ja, a community leader who also has interests in the mining business, said more than 100 others were missing.

Myanmar only recently started moving from a half-century of dictatorship to democracy. Hpakant, the epicenter of the country's jade boom, remains desperately poor, with bumpy dirt roads and constant electricity blackouts.

The region bordering China is home to some of the world's highest quality jade, bringing in billions of dollars a year, though researchers say most of that money goes to individuals and companies tied to Myanmar's former military rulers.