Pune: Toll climbs to 75, 100 more feared buried

SansadTV Bureau

landslide_puneWith the recovery of five more bodies, the toll in the landslide catastrophe at Malin village rose to 75 on Saturday while 100 more persons were believed to be buried in the debris.

The dead included 37 women and 10 children, the District Control Room said. Mass cremations of the victims are being carried out at the village after identification of bodies by relatives.

The rescue operations, which have been hampered by rain and inclement weather, entered the fourth day on Saturday after the July 30 disaster that buried 44 houses, as hopes of finding survivors faded with every passing hour.

Intermittent rains have continued to hamper the rescue operations being carried out since Wednesday morning when a massive landslide buried under its debris 44 houses trapping about 160 residents of the wiped out village.

About 100 more persons still could be under the massive debris, district authorities said.

“The extrication work is progressing at a slow pace because of restricted movements of JCBs and other heavy equipment due to huge mound of mud and water,” said a rescue official.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation minister Patangrao Kadam said the recovery of bodies could take two more days in view of the inclement conditions. He said the NDRF jawans were working ceaselessly even through night using power generators and search lights.

The state government has announced an assistance of Rs five lakh on Friday to each of the victims’ families with an assurance of their total rehabilitation.