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India landslide death toll rises to 23 as rescue teams work to locate survivors

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Indian rescue teams are working to locate survivors of a landslide that has claimed at least 23 lives and buried up to 200 people near the city of Pune in Maharashtra state.

Ten people have been rescued from the wreckage in Malin village.

Teams worked through the night but rain was hampering efforts to search for scores of people presumed trapped under the mud and debris.

The landslide hit the village early on Wednesday while people were sleeping.


Landslides are common in some parts of India during the monsoon, which runs from June to September.

The landslide has claimed at least 23 lives and buried up to 200 people near the city of Pune in Maharashtra state

The landslide has claimed at least 23 lives and buried up to 200 people near the city of Pune in Maharashtra state

A large part of a nearby hill collapsed on Malin, and its population of 150 to 200 tribal people were covered with tonnes of loose earth, mud and rocks.

“Everything on the mountain came down,” said Suresh Jadhav, a district official, describing how a cascade of mud, rocks and uprooted trees swamped the area.

Rescue operations were disrupted on Thursday morning after “very heavy rainfall” in the area, Tripti Parule, a spokesperson for India’s National Disaster Response Force said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told the Press Trust of India news agency that more than 160 people were believed to be trapped in 44 houses buried under the rubble.

The Indian Express newspaper reported that a 25-year-old woman and her six-month-old baby were among the 10 people who had been rescued from the site.

“The woman and her baby were trapped in their house under the thatched roof… The mother was tightly holding the baby in her arms,” Baban Kokane, the driver of the rescue vehicle, told the newspaper.

“We found them while removing the mud with the earth mover. Their house was wrapped in a thick layer of mud.”

PM Narendra Modi described the loss of lives in the landslide as “saddening”. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is travelling to Pune on Thursday to assess the situation.

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