PUNE: Amidst the grave tragedy in Malin, the village almost entirely wiped out by a landslide in Maharashtra, rescue teams Thursday dug out a three-month-old infant and his mother safely from the debris, officials said.
The duo, Rudra and his mother Pramila Lembhe, were rushed to a hospital where more joy was in store - they were reunited with Rudra's grandmother, who was rescued Wednesday night.
"It is truly a miracle that they could make it safely. They were buried in the darkness under several feet of debris and wet mud for so many hours," said medical team members.
As the excavator machines and dumpers were busy searching for survivors, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials heard the cries of a baby from underneath the ground.
Immediately, they ordered caution by the heavy vehicles, and with extreme care shifted the wet mud and other obstacles to create an opening in the ground.
They were surprised and overjoyed to see the infant clinging to his weak mother, lying on her lap in the pitch darkness, both somehow breathing and surviving under some household furniture.
The rescuers helped them out and rushed them to the hospital where they were reunited with the child's grandmother, who hugged them with joy and tears.
Later, Pramila Lembhe told rescuers that she was feeding Rudra early Wednesday when she heard a booming sound from behind their home.
Before she could get up and react, the house wall crashed, and an open rack with utensils tumbled and fell on her, after which it was all darkness and silence underground for both.
After several hours of waiting and praying for help, and somehow staying under the utensil rack, Rudra and Pramila were finally rescued with minor abrasions early Thursday.
Delighted at coming out of the dark hole where he was trapped for so long, Rudra laughed loudly, his baby laughter bringing tears of joy to many rescuers and medical workers there.
The amazing rescue came in the midst of at least 31 deaths so far. Twentytwo people have been rescued, including eight who suffered injuries in the landslide on the village of 50 families in Pune district.