Manipur landslide: 25 dead, 18 injured as rescue op continues; 38 still missing.

The bodies of 14 Army personnel – who died in the landslide in Manipur’s Noney late Wednesday night – were today sent to their home stations with full military honours via two Air Force planes and an Army helicopter; one body was sent to Kangpokpi district by road.

The soldiers belonged to the Territorial Army’s 107th battalion and had been stationed near a railway station to protect construction workers as they built the Jiribam-Imphal line.

So far 25 bodies have been found – 18 Territorial Army soldiers and six civilians – and 18 people have injured. Emergency services personnel resumed work this morning with 12 soldiers and 26 civilians still missing.

Fresh teams – drawn from the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles, the Territorial Army and state and national disaster response forces – were deployed to augment search efforts.

“It (the search) will depend on multiple factors… including weather and difficult terrain… to cover a big area (around two km) as this is the biggest landslide ever reported in the state’s history,” Solomon L Fimate, the sub-divisional officer of Haochong village, said.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh visited the site Friday for a second time.

This morning the chief minister tweeted a video of the rescue operations and said: “The situation in the landslide affected area of Tupul is still serious. Due to rainfall in the morning, we are expecting the bad weather to persist.”

The state government has announced compensation of 5 lakh for each of the family of the dead and 50,000 for each of the injured.

Nine of the soldiers who have died are from Bengal’s Darjeeling; Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee offered her condolences and said their families would be supported.

The landslide occurred Wednesday night/Thursday morning after incessant rains and also damaged under-construction buildings and the Tupul railway station, Northeast Frontier Railway said. It eroded a large chunk of a nearby hill and hit the Territorial Army camp.

Source- Hindustan Times.


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