15 dead in Pune landslide, rescue operations on

RSTV Bureau

landslide_puneAt least 15 people are killed on Wednesday after heavy rains triggered a landslide in Maharashtra’s Pune district, burying over 160 as rescuers searched for survivors and bodies in the massive debris of mud and rock.

Racing against time and battling inclement weather, NDRF personnel have pulled out 15 bodies from the rubble and as many injured survivors so far.

The survivors have been admitted to nearby government-run health centres.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said over 160 people were believed to be trapped in 44 houses buried under the rubble after large parts of a hillside collapsed early Wednesday morning.

Large crowds have gathered at the spot and villagers could be seen moving fallen trees and rocks with bare hands to assist 300 National Disaster Response Force personnel in rescue efforts

State’s Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Patangrao Kadam said rescue operations were going on in full swing in coordination with various government agencies.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Malin village, the scene of the tragedy, in Ambegaon taluka of the district, some 120 km from the district headquarters.

Singh is rushing to Pune after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him about the tragedy.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar have rushed to the village.

Over 160 people were feared trapped when part of a hillside smashed 44 houses at Malin village Wednesday morning amid heavy rains.

Rescue Operations

The NDRF teams have also reached the spot and Around 300 NDRF personnel are assisting the local administration in the rescue operations.

Large earth moving machinery have been pressed into service but the rescuers are moving slowly to avoid causing harm to the possible survivors, Pune collector Saurav Rao said, adding the operation to clear the rubble was on.

Rescue operations are on in full swing with the help of two teams from the National Disaster Response Force and the rescuers were moving slowly to avoid causing harm to the survivors, he added.

About 30 ambulances and fire brigade teams from adjoining areas have been rushed to the spot the district collector told.

IG, NDRF, Sandeep Rai Rathore said his teams had difficulty reaching the scene of occurrence due to damage caused to roads. Quoting district authorities, he said, upto 200 people may be trapped.

Efforts are on to restore communication lines disrupted due to landslide and heavy downpour.

Rescuers are racing against time to pull out as many survivors as they can before darkness sets in. Intermittent rains are making their task difficult, sources said.

Sources in the emergency control room also said that new emergency control room has been set up at adjoining Manchar taluka .