Pune landslide: Rain hampers rescue ops, toll mounts to 83

Mass cremations of landslide victims are being carried out after identification of bodies by relatives.

By: Press Trust of India Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Pune | Updated: August 3, 2014 12:58:15 am
A woman cries next to the pyre of her relative. Source: Pavan Khengre A woman cries next to the pyre of her relative. Source: Pavan Khengre

Consistent rainfall hampered rescue operations at the site of the landslide in Malin village on Saturday. National Disaster Response Force personnel said the rescue operations could take a further five to six days as the rain has turned the area into marshland and workers are having a tough time digging out bodies.

Alok Awasthi, commandant of Pune based 5th NDRF Battalion, told The Sunday Express, “Movement has been restricted. Man and machinery cannot be moved swiftly now. Against our earlier estimate of finishing the operation in the next 48-72 hours, it could take five-six days if rain does not stop.”

The NDRF teams, which were initially told there were 158 bodies buried under the debris, had recovered a total 83 bodies by Saturday evening. Around 67 bodies are yet to be found, considering the eight who were rescued on the first day of the operation. The possibility of finding any other survivors has been ruled out.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil visited the site of the mishap on Saturday with Tribal Welfare Minister Madhukar Pichad.

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