The toll due to a landslide near a railway construction site in Manipur’s Noney district rose to 24 on Saturday, the Guwahati office of the Union defence ministry said in a press release. The victims include 18 Territorial Army personnel and six civilians.
Twelve Territorial Army officials and 26 civilians are still missing, the defence ministry’s public relations office said. Eighteen persons, including 13 Territorial Army officials were rescued on Friday.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh who visited the site on Friday described the tragedy as “worst incident in the history of the state”, ANI reported. He said that the rescue operations have been disrupted as the soil at the site was loose, making it difficult for heavy machinery to operate.
Bad weather has also hampered the job of disaster management authorities. Search operations could not be carried out on Friday night as there was no electricity in the area, according to The Hindu.
“Rescue operation will take two-three more days,” Singh told reporters.
The landslide got triggered on Wednesday night close to a camp of a company of the 107 Territorial Army was deployed at a construction site near the Tupul railway station. The company had been deployed for the protection of an under-construction railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.
The rescued individuals have been admitted to the Public Health Centre in Tupul. However, three of them had to be shifted to Imphal for better treatment as their health conditions deteriorated.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, the Indian Army and the Assam Rifles have been deployed in the rescue operations. The state government has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those who died and Rs 50,000 as financial assistance to the injured victims, according to NDTV.