Pune landslide: Death toll touches 68; Rs 5 lakh aid to victims' next of kin

Aug 01, 2014, 09:12 IST | IANS

With hopes of finding more survivors fast receding, rescuers have dug out 27 more bodies since last night as the toll in the Malin landslide disaster rose to 68

Pune: The death toll in the Malin village landslide today climbed to 68 even as NDRF personnel braved hostile weather and difficult terrain for the third day to look for signs of life under the huge mound of debris in the village flattened by the fury of nature.

National Disaster Response Force personnel recover the body of a landslide victim amid heavy rain at the site in Malin village in Pune district. Pic/AFP

According to the District Collector Control Room, till now, 68 people, which includes 27 males, 31 females and 10 children have been killed in the landslide while eight injured persons have been rescued and are being treated at nearby hospitals.

300 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which is leading the rescue efforts, have been braving hostile weather and difficult terrain as they continued to look for life under the huge mound of debris as hope for more lives slowly dimmed 48 hours after the village in Ambegaon taluka was hit by the landslide.

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. NDRF jawans are moving JCBs and dumpers cautiously to ensure safety of possible survivors under mud and stone debris of the hillock that caved-in on July 30 even as over 100 people are still believed to be trapped inside.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today announced a financial aid of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of each of the victims.

Officials in the Chief Minister's office said the assistance would be provided from the CM Relief fund. Free medical treatment will be given to the injured and proper rehabilitation of the village will be done on priority, they said. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday visited Malin village, the scene of the tragedy over 100 kms from here, and announced an assistance of Rs two lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased from the PM Relief Fund. Mass cremation of several victims was conducted at the site by grieving relatives yesterday.

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