Landslide in Manipur: Death toll rises to 30

Noney: The death toll from a devastating landslide in Manipur’s Noney district continued to climb with more dead bodies recovered on Saturday.

Amid the intensified rescue operation another massive landslide was also reported at a place not so far away from the earlier site. There were no reports of casualty in the latest landslide.

The death toll rose to 30 with 13 more bodies recovered on Saturday.

An official report put the death toll at 29 with eight more bodies recovered till 3 pm Saturday.

Another dead body was recovered before halting the search operation at 5 pm, a source from the spot said.

The devastating landslide hit the 107 Territorial Army (TA) camp located at Tupul railway construction camp at Makhuam area of Noney district in the wee hours of Thursday (June 30).

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Officially as many as 81 people, mostly personnel of the TA were affected by the landslide that not only destroyed the TA camp stationed there, according to an official statement.

The 81 missing people included 43 TA personnel, 23 staff and workers of Venkata Sai Construction (VSC), three each of railway and BIPL, five villagers and four unidentified persons.

After the tragic incident, a Joint Task Force comprising Army, Assam Rifles, NDRF, SDRF, CRPF, Army Medical Doctors, Manipur police and fire service personnel launched the rescue operations.

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A total manpower strength of 477 including MMTA and local volunteers and 32 excavators are engaged in the rescue operation. Sophisticated machinery including Through-Wall Imaging Radars are also deployed to trace the missing people.

Two trained dogs are also assisting the rescuers in searching for bodies.

On the first day of the operation, eight dead bodies including seven TA personnel were recovered and 18 people including personnel of the TA were rescued.

On the second day of the operation, 13 more dead bodies were recovered and nine dead bodies recovered today, the third day of the operation.

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Of the nine bodies recovered Saturday, six of them were personnel of the TA and the remaining three were civilians engaged in the railway substation construction, the source said.

Out of the 30 dead bodies so far (till Saturday 5pm) recovered in the past three days, 20 were TA personnel, six VSC staff and one BIPL staff while three of them were yet to be identified.

Saturday’s rescue operation began at 4 am and the operation was hampered due to rainfall and appearance of new cracks on the site, officials said.

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“The situation in the landslide affected area is still serious. Due to rainfall in the morning, we are expecting the bad weather to persist,” chief minister N Biren Singh said in a Facebook post.

“We are putting in our best effort to expedite the rescue operation,” Biren Singh added in the post.

Meanwhile, Assam’s Water Resource minister Pijush Hazarika who arrived in the state along with Manipur Health minister Dr Sapam Ranjan and CAF&PD minister L Sushildro paid a visit to the affected site and took stock of the ongoing rescue operation.

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