Nine people were killed and 16 others were injured on Saturday at a mining site in northern Burundi, after a mountain collapsed around midday due to heavy rain, a local official said Sunday.

The victims were helping miners remove earth at the foot of the mountain in Kabarore Commune, Kayanza Province, when the mountain suddenly collapsed, Kabarore administrator Victor Ntakarutimana told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

Four people in critical condition are receiving medical treatment at Kayanza Hospital, said Ntakarutimana.

The official said the mountain collapsed due to heavy rain in the past days, and the lack of trees on the mountain worsened the situation.

Similar accidents often occur when miners extract mines, he said.

He urged managers of mining cooperatives to always refer to environmental studies before implementing any activity. He also encouraged local residents to grow trees on mountains to support earth.

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