Myanmar Continues Search After Deadly Landslide at Jade Mine – by Thomas Fuller (New York Times – November 23, 2015)

BANGKOK — It was known locally as Plastic Village, a sprawling encampment made from tarps and scraps of trash and inhabited by workers who scavenged for jade in the rugged hills of northern Myanmar.

Rescue workers on Monday continued to dig through the remnants of the encampment after a landslide over the weekend buried it along with at least 120 people.

The landslide was Myanmar’s worst jade mining disaster in recent years, highlighting the primitive conditions of an industry that is highly lucrative but notorious for its secrecy and hazardous working conditions.

By Monday, about 120 bodies had been found since the landslide struck in the dead of night early Saturday, according to U Naw Land, the secretary of the Kachin National Social Development Foundation, a charitable organization that helped organize the rescue and recovery efforts.

“We can’t say exactly how many, because some bodies did not come out as whole pieces,” he said by telephone.

About 20 bodies were found on Monday alone, he said.

Another community leader involved in the rescue operation, U Dohtoi, said the number of bodies recovered had overwhelmed the hospital morgue in Hpakant, a commercial hub of the jade mining industry a half-hour drive away.

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