The bodies of some 113 people have been recovered from the rubble following a landslide near a jade mine in Myanmar, the country’s Fire Service Department has confirmed.

Heavy monsoon rains created a “muddy wave” which trapped workers and scavengers at the site at roughly 8am local time on Thursday in the jade-rich Hpakant area in the northern Kachin state. 

“The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud, which hit after heavy rainfall,” the national fire service said.

Landslides at the poorly regulated mines of Hpakant are common, with some 116 people dying in a similar incident in the area in 2015.  

Myanmar is the world’s biggest source of jade, and hundreds of people frequent the exterior of the mines to look for fallen stones and to sift through discarded rubble from mine trucks in search of jade stones. The country’s jade trade is estimated to be worth over $30 billion per year.

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