Imphal: In a heart wrenching incident, at least eight people have been reportedly killed and scores of people, including locals and Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) staff, are still missing after a massive landslide hit the railway construction site at Manipur’s Noney district late on Wednesday night.
“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.
According to the latest figures shared by authorities, seven dead bodies of India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel have been retrieved so far, while 13 others have been safely evacuated; of the 18 labourers working on the NFR railway construction site, one dead body has been recovered, five have been rescued and 11 others are still missing; four NFR engineers, three personnel of BIPL road construction company and one cook are still among the missing.
Manipur CM N Biren Singh has arrived at the site to take stock of the situation. Meanwhile, ambulances along with doctors and nurses are on the way to Tupul.
NDRF & SDRF personnel have reached the spot.
The incident occurred at Makhuam village near Tupul when a river flowing through Tamenglong and Noney districts was completely blocked due to the massive landslide.
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.
As per sources, at least 13 people have been rescued so far, but more people are feared trapped under the debris. The injured individuals are being treated at the Noney Army Medical unit.
Rescue operations by the Indian Army and Assam Rifles are consistently getting hampered due to fresh landslides and bad weather. The Army helicopters are said to be on standby waiting for the weather to clear.
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.
At the time of filing this report, however, locals said the river had started flowing by itself and broken the obstruction with water pressure. This, they added, was making rescue operations all the more difficult.
Meanwhile, Noney deputy commissioner Haulianlal Guite issued an advisory to the public to stay alert and remain prepared for any assistance in case the rain conditions deteriorate further.
“The flow of Ijei river has been obstructed by the debris due to landslide at Tupul Yard Railway constriction camp, creating a dam-like condition which if breached will wreak havoc to the low lying areas of Noney district headquarters, and 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,” said DC Guite.
He further advised commuters to avoid travelling along the National Highway 37 road due to multiple road blockages.
District administration in coordination with various national and state teams are undertaking search and rescue as well as relief operations work is underway, he added.
This is a developing story.
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