Imphal: Latest reports from authorities say 81 people were confirmed buried under the debris, of which 19 have been rescued so far, and 62 are feared dead after a massive landslide hit the mega railway project construction site in Manipur’s Noney district late on Wednesday night.

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According to the latest figures shared by authorities, of the 43 personnel of the Territorial army present at the site at the time of the incident, seven have been found dead, 15 others were rescued alive with injures, of which three are said to be critical, and 23 others are still missing.

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Of the 27 workers and personnel of the two outsourced construction companies BIPL and VCS, 21 are still buried and feared dead, while six were rescued alive. All the three Railways’ engineers present at the accident site are feared dead. Nine others, including five villagers are also believed to be among those still buried and feared dead.

Landslide in Manipur's Noney extremely distressing: Rahul

The incident took place at Tupul yard railway construction camp on Wednesday night when a river flowing through Tamenglong and Noney districts was completely blocked due to the massive landslide.

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“Due to incessant heavy rain for last few days, the hillock adjacent to the Tupul station yard gave away and came down on the under construction station yard on the intervening night of 29/30 June 2022. The under construction Tupul station building, track formation and camps of construction workers got damaged as a result of the massive landslide,” NFR spokesperson Sabyasachi De said.

The landslide also struck the company location of 107 Territorial Army of Indian
Army deployed near Tupul Railway Station in Noney district for protection of the under-construction railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.

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According to locals, the massive landslide blocked the Ijei river in the Noney district, leading to fears of flash floods once the river water level rises. They fear the river bank will break and heavy water flow will destroy the paddy fields downstream.

While rescue work is on in full swing, inclement weather and darkness have put a dampener on the operations.

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An advisory issued by Noney deputy commissioner said, “Due to the unfortunate landslide where casualties are being reported and dozens buried alive, the flow of the Ijei River has also been obstructed by the debris, creating a dam-like storage condition, which if breached will wreak havoc to the low-lying areas of Noney district headquarters…”

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“… As the condition is still developing and the future is unknown, the general public is hereby advised to take their own precautions, and especially ensure children do not come out near the river. Whoever can evacuate are also advised to evacuate, it added.

The advisory also advised travellers to avoid National Highway-37 due to multiple road blockages.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over the incident.

Shah said a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached the landslide site while two more teams are on their way.

“Spoke to CM Shri @NBirenSingh and Shri @AshwiniVaishnaw in the wake of a landslide near the Tupul railway station in Manipur. Rescue operations are in full swing. A team of NDRF has already reached the spot and joined the rescue operations. 2 more teams are on their way to Tupul,” Shah tweeted.

The chief minister has called an emergency meeting to assess the situation.

manipur landslide

“Called an emergency meeting to assess the situation of the landslide in Tupul today. The search and rescue operation is already underway. Let’s keep them in our prayers today. Ambulances along with doctors have also been dispatched to assist in the operation,” Singh tweeted.

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He has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for those injured.

Governor La Ganesan condoled the deaths and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also mourned the loss of lives in the incident.

Manipur landslide

“The news of a tragic landslide near Tupul Yard railway construction camp in Noney District, Manipur is extremely distressing My condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

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