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Five dead, 150 feared trapped in India monsoon landslide

MUMBAI - A major landslide on Wednesday struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, killing at least five people and leaving up to 150 feared trapped, officials said.

Emergency forces rushed to remote Malin village in the Pune district of Maharashtra state, where debris from a hill collapsed onto homes in the morning while residents were sleeping.

"Five bodies have been recovered and 125 to 150 are still trapped," Satish Lalit, a spokesman for the Maharashtra chief minister’s office, told AFP.

Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), also said up to 150 were feared trapped by the landslide, which damaged about 50 houses.

He said that it was difficult to confirm casualties as the village has been cut off from communications. Rains were also hampering rescue operations.

Indian television station CNN-IBN said as well as five people killed in the landslide, another five have been rescued.

Television footage showed the side of a hill shaved off, with large amounts of mud, muddy water and logs piled below.

Heavy machinery has been mobilised to try to rescue those feared trapped, while about 30 ambulances rushed to the scene, local government official Saurav Rao told the Press Trust of India news agency.

AFP


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