Five members of one family - including a man, his wife and three children, aged five to nine - were killed after an avalanche of mud and rocks buried their home. Five children, aged five months to seven years, were killed in four other homes, Serenia Moreno, the spokeswoman said.

 

An injured woman, teenage girl and infant boy were taken to a hospital for treatment, Moreno said.

 

She also said that the authorities didn't know how many people were in the homes and rescue crews were still digging through the mud in search of other possible victims.

 

The homes, in Durango state, were at the foot of a mountain that gave way after strong rain storms.

 

Search called off

 

Meanwhile, soldiers on Friday ended a search for additional victims of an earlier  landslide that buried a highway in central Mexico and left four dead.

 

A mountainside collapsed on Thursday in eastern Mexico, slamming into a tractor trailer, a pickup and several public buses. The battered, dirt-caked carcasses of the vehicles were scattered in a mud field on the edge of a lake.

 

Officials said one of the dead included a woman, whose backpack contained several baby bottles, prompting rescue workers to search for an infant among the debris. But by Friday afternoon, the soldiers said they had not found any more victims in the mud and called off the hunt.

 

The landslide occurred on a highway between Mexico City and the city of Tuxpan. Four people died and at least 11 others were injured, Javier Lopez Avala, Puebla's interior secretary, told a news conference late Thursday that was broadcast live on the radio.

 

It was not clear exactly what caused the landslide.

 

Lopez Avala said workers had been using heavy machinery on the site recently to extract gravel, which weakened the hillside that collapsed. Heavy rains have pounded that part of the country in recent weeks as well.