Police say at least nine miners are feared dead after they were buried by a large landslide in northwest Pakistan.

Local police officer Ali Zia says the phosphate miners were eating lunch Wednesday in the mountain village of Tharnawai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when the accident occurred.

Zia said rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather and the inability to get heavy machinery to the site. It had been snowing and raining before the slide occurred.

Eyewitness Mohammad Khurshid Awan said rescue workers were using shovels in an attempt to uncover the buried miners.

Zia, the police officer, said no bodies have yet been recovered.