Naypyitaw: Over 50 people are feared dead after jade miners and their machinery were buried in Myanmar, said reports on Tuesday. Also Read - Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 9: official

Landslides are common in mines of Hpakant. A lawmaker was quoted by Reuters as saying that three bodies had been pulled out of the debris.

He said that as many as 54 workers of two mining companies, along with 40 machines and vehicles, had a huge refuse pile collapse on them late on Monday.  “They won’t survive. It is not possible because they are buried under mud,” Tin Soe said on the phone.

It is difficult to retrieve the bodies. The fire brigade chief said that a search was begun early on Tuesday.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Information said on Facebook that 54 workers were missing. It identified the companies involved as Shwe Nagar Koe Kaung and Myanmar Thura.

Environmental advocacy group Global Witness put the value of jade production in Myanmar at about $31 billion in 2014. Experts said most of those stones were smuggled to China.