At least 17 people were killed in Mozambique’s Capital Maputo early Monday after a pile of garbage collapsed on their homes amid heavy rain, Reuters reported, quoting officials. Several people were injured.

The incident took place at around 3 am local time (6.30 am Indian time) in the Hulene locality, one of the poorest parts of the city. The pile of waste was about 15 metres high.

Officials said the affected houses were built illegally and authorities had earlier asked residents to leave.

“Up to now, 17 dead bodies were recovered,” said local councillor Despedida Rita. “We fear more might be unaccounted for. So we will keep searching for bodies buried underneath the garbage pile.”

The city has experienced heavy rainfall since Sunday, which has damaged homes and flooded roads, BBC reported.