At least 90 people were killed in a landslide near a jade mine in northern Burma, also known as Myanmar, in the early hours of Saturday.
The victims were reportedly searching through a pile of waste material in Hpakant, looking for pieces of jade to sell, when it collapsed, burying them, the BBC reported. Nearly 100 remain missing, and volunteers, police, and others searched for more victims in the rubble on Sunday.
The mountain of soil, discarded by a mining company, was about 200 feet tall, according to The Global New Light of Myanmar, an English-language newspaper in the country. The landslide buried 70 huts, in which miners were sleeping.
Local resident Seng Mai told The Wall Street Journal that he watched as rescue teams dug bodies from the heap and transported them to the town’s morgue.
“Local people are helping to pull the bodies out and also to bring the villagers away from the landslide area,” he said. “There has been a huge number of deaths.”
Hpakant is located in the state of Kachin, which is home to some of the highest-quality jade in the world, according to Global Witness, an advocacy group. The region produced $31 billion worth of jade in 2014—the equivalent of almost half the Burma’s GDP—“but hardly any of the money is reaching ordinary people or state coffers,” and is managed by the country’s elites and companies, the group said in a report released last month.