Pune landslide death toll reaches 21

July 31, 2014 11:26 am
Scene of landslide in Malin village in Pune, photograph released by the Maharashtra chief minister's office,  (AFP photo)

Scene of landslide in Malin village in Pune, photograph released by the Maharashtra chief minister’s office, (AFP photo)

Decease of at least 21 people and trapping more than 160 at Malin village which was buried in a landslide. Home minister Rajnath Singh reached there on Wednesday night to take an overview of the rescue operations.

Malin village is located around 80 km from Pune. Heavy monsoon rains causing rocks and mud to loosen and tumble down on houses past few days, it have lashed the hills in the area. Authorities fear that the death toll could mount as most of the 67 houses in the village were buried under a 25 feet pile of rocks and mud.

21 bodies have been recovered so far, according to district administration officials.

Accompanied by Vinod Tawde, leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra legislative council, and other officials, Rajnath Singh will travel to the disaster site on Thursday morning.

Read: Landslide hits village near Pune, rescue works on | People died in their sleep, say survivors |

Depending on the prevailing weather conditions, Rajnath Singh may make an aerial survey of the disaster site at Malin.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil and ministers Harshavardhan Patil and Madhukarrao Pichad visited the site and directed the rescue operations.

Pune_landslide_Malin_Village_2A 300-strong team, comprising the National Disaster Response Force, Maharashtra Disaster Response Force, police, villagers and political activists, braved inclement weather and frantically searched for trapped people under stones, boulders and sticky mud.

Heavy rain, which has lashed the picturesque region over the past four days, continued to hamper relief operations the whole day and prevented rescuers from approaching the accident site as, due to the flowing water, the mud kept shifting.

The villagers sleeping in their homes were caught unawares and many continue to be trapped under the mud, boulders and debris, said Walse-Patil.

District officials said people in around half a dozen other villages in the hilly neighborhood are being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

An army team was also sent from Pune. (Source: HT)

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