Chinese authorities say 254 people were killed in a massive mudslide that buried a northern Chinese village.

The death toll rose sharply Saturday after the discovery of more than 70 additional bodies in Shanxi province.

The official Xinhua news agency reported a wall of waste and mud from an illegal mine plowed into a village of about 1,000 people on Monday.  The slide buried an outdoor market said to have been packed with people.

Officials stated hundreds could have been killed.  More than 1,000 people are involved in rescue and recovery operations.

Chinese work safety officials blamed the illegal mine for the disaster.  Police have detained 12 people associated with the mine, including its boss.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.