Fourteen people were killed when a jade mine collapsed in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State on Friday, local media reported.

The landslide in Whay Kar village of Hpakant Township occurred in the early hours of Friday, killing 12 people immediately and two others hospitalised, BBC’s Burmese service reported, citing a local labour union and a parliamentarian.

Myanmar’s shadowy jade industry was worth an estimated 31 billion dollars in 2014, according to UK-based NGO Global Witness.

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The industry is largely operated by families and companies connected to Myanmar’s powerful military, drug lords and ethnic armed groups.

In spite pledges by civilian leader, Aung-San Suu-Kyi to clean up the industry when she took office in 2016, Hpakant’s unregulated jade mines remain vulnerable to lethal landslides.

Mining waste is often piled hundreds of feet high, inviting prospectors to scavenge through the heaps in search of discarded jade.

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