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Manipur landslide: 12 more bodies recovered, 44 others feared trapped


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GUWAHATI: The bodies of 12 more persons were retrieved from the landslide-hit railway construction site at Tupul in Manipur’s Noney district on Friday.

“Mortal remains of 8 more Territorial Army personnel and 4 civilians were recovered during the search on July 1,” the Army said in a statement.

The bodies of eight persons, including seven personnel, were recovered and 18 others, including 13 personnel, were rescued and hospitalised on Thursday. Some of them were grievously injured.

Official sources said an estimated 82 people were at the site when the tragedy struck them in the wee hours of Thursday. The Army said the search for the remaining 44 people – 15 personnel and 29 civilians – would continue.

The civilians missing are railway employees, construction labourers and villagers. The Territorial Army personnel were deployed for the protection of under-construction Jiribam to Imphal railway line.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who visited the site for the second straight day, monitored the search and rescue operation being undertaken by multiple agencies such as Army, Assam Rifles, Territorial Army, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force. Several excavators and sniffer dogs were being used in the operation.

The CM said the tonnes of slippery mud that piled up at the site made the rescue operation difficult. He said the operation would be continued for the next two to three days.

“Heavy machineries along with ‘Through Wall Imaging Radar’ have been deployed to expedite the operation,” Singh said.

Through Wall Imaging Radar or TWIR is a sensor used for detection and location of static and moving targets, especially human beings behind walls.

The debris had blocked the flow of Ijai river. Official sources said the blockage had been partially cleared and the river was flowing.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asked his ministerial colleague Pijush Hazarika to visit Manipur. According to Sarma, one person from Assam lost his life, five were undergoing treatment and 16 were missing.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)