Rescuers pulled more bodies, including children, on Thursday from the wreckage of a bus swallowed by a landslide in Mexico which may have killed up to 60 people, local authorities said.

Emergency workers, who spent the night digging up the bus with the help of the army, said they had recovered a total 14 bodies at the site of the accident in the central state of Puebla.

They earlier expressed little hope of recovering any survivors among the bus's passengers.

The first body, of a 40-year-old woman, was recovered by rescuers late Wednesday more than 12 hours after the accident, the governor of Puebla Mario Marin announced.

A further 13 were recovered in the morning, among them six men, two women, two children and three who were not yet identified.

The bus was completely engulfed in mud, earth and rocks in a sudden landslide around 7:00 am (1200 GMT) Wednesday morning near the mountain village of Zacacoapan, in the Sierra Negra area of Puebla.

"We know that there were more than 40 passengers on board, according to witnesses who said the bus was full," said a local official. Others said there could have been as many as 60 passengers.

Rescuers worked for hours hauling mud and rocks away from the accident scene before reaching the bus.

"We went all around the scene, we found that the bus is totally buried, and has a huge amount of earth on top of it. So we sent in machinery to try to clean it out," said Asuncion Cid, a town official from near the accident scene.

Townspeople were distraught at the travelers' fate.

"I was driving my SUV, we were behind the bus when we saw the landslide," witness Mario Jimenez told AFP.

"We tried to dig with bare hands and shovels, but got nowhere."