PUNE: At least five persons were killed and about 160 feared trapped after large parts of a hillside collapsed on houses amid heavy rain in Maharashtra's Pune district Wednesday.
There were reports that five persons were extricated alive from the massive debris of mud and rock that covered the area at Malin village, some 120 km from the district headquarters.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said five persons were killed in the landslide and 160 feared trapped. He said 44 houses on the hillside were swamped by the cascading debris in the village with a population of about 715.
Rescue operations are on in full swing with the help of two teams from the National Disaster Response Force, District Collector Saurav Rao said. The rescuers were moving slowly to avoid causing harm to the survivors, he said.
About 30 ambulances and fire brigade teams from adjoining areas have been rushed to the spot, he added. IG, NDRF, Sandeep Rai Rathore said his teams had difficulty reaching the scene of occurrence due to damage caused to roads. Quoting district authorities, he said, upto 200 people may be trapped.
Chavan has left for the village with Deputy CM Ajit Pawar to personally monitor rescue efforts. Hospitals in the vicinity have been put on alert and medical teams rushed to the spot. Rescuers are facing a tough time due to rain. Large parts of Maharashtra are witnessing heavy and incessant rains over the past few days.