NAY PYI DAW, Myanmar At least 27 people are feared killed in a landslide at a jade mining site in Hpakant township of Kachin State, a state legislator was quoted as saying by the Myanmar Times, an English language newspaper.

Only one body has been recovered, as rescue efforts have been slowed by the rough terrain.

The landslide occurred on Tuesday near lower Mat Lin Chaung village in Hpakant jade mining region, according to Hpakant township state legislator Dashi La Seng.

The actual number of people buried in the landslide was unknown, with some residents saying that as many as 40 jade scavengers could have been buried when a huge mound of earth collapsed amid heavy rain.

Rescue work is continuing since the depth of the collapsed dirt is over 1,000 feet. We need machinery to reach the landslide area.

The landslide occurred as H La Aung, Kachin State Natural Resource and Environmental Conservation Minister, arrived on Tuesday in Hpakant to check on the township, including jade mining sites.

H La Aung said the union government was responsible for the mining area in Hpakant.

We will submit a report about this to the union government, he said.

National League of Democracy chairman in Hpakant, U Shwe Thein said the rescuers could not do much.

”They dug a deep hole in the summer, and now it is full of water. People were pushed into the pond by the landslide, and it is now a (small) hill.

”It is difficult for machines to get in. We need to consider the possibility of more landslides, U Shwe Thein added.

The landslide victims were mostly ethnic Rawan people from the villages of Shansu, Maklinchaung, Mamone, Hpapyin and Sapot.

U Shwe Thein said a new mining law with more regulations on mining is needed to prevent a repetition of such deadly accidents.

Around 500 people have died in landslides since 2014 in jade mines, according to Lives Risked for Jade a report by the Humanity Institute and Kachin National Social Development Foundation of Hpakant.

On July 14, a huge mound of earth collapsed in the jade mining block in nearby Lone Khinn village tract, killing at least 22 jade prospectors.

Source: NAM News Network