Manohar Lembe, 55, of Malin village saw his house crumble in front of him. “I heard a terrible noise… I was dragged along the ground. My wife Tanubai was flung through the door,” says Lembe, who is being treated for a fracture at Manchar sub-district hospital, 50 km from Malin.
Their daughter-in-law Pramila, who was struck in the mud, strapped her six-month-old son Rudra to her body but was stuck in knee-deep mud. National Disaster Response Force personnel and doctors at a dry spot a distance away helped her form a human chain and walk to safety.
“Pramila had tightly wrapped the baby and both were unable to breathe. We took them to Adhivre PHC. They have survived without any major injuries,” says Dr Priti Kalyankar of the Emergency Medical Services team.
According to a PTI report, it was Rudra’s cries that had alerted NDRF personnel. “Rudra kept on crying loudly until rescuers managed to locate us,” PTI quoted Pramila as saying.
A relative, Meena, too survived. “My sister Usha and her two children, Soham and Manasi, are missing,” says Lembe’s son Machindra, who works at a showroom on the Pune-Bangalore highway. “Such a beautiful village. All the children, so many relatives gone.”
Usha’s husband Navnath, who had gone to Manchar for a meeting and escaped the landslide, is still hoping his wife and children are alive.
The Lembes are the only survivors at the PHC. “It is horrific, there are only dead bodies and few survivors,” says Dr S Deshmukh, superintendent, Manchar sub-district hospital.
Severe disfigurement has made it difficult to identify the bodies. Doctors say suffocation, polytrauma and multiple fractures caused the death of most.
Inputs by Nisha Nambiar
Prashant Bhushan has alleged that hooliganism and goondagardi was rampant in the Council.