An avalanche killed at least 25 people who were digging for gemstones in a remote area of northwestern Pakistan, police said.

Regional police chief Ataullah Wazir said the avalanche happened near Kohistan, 210 miles northeast of Peshawar. The area is rich with precious stones, which villagers sell on the open market.

Wazir, speaking by phone from Kohistan, said rescuers had recovered some bodies.