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17 Dead, 158 Feared Trapped in Pune Landslide

At least 17 people were killed when torrential rains triggered a landslide at a village in Maharashtra's Pune district today, burying 158 as 400 NDRF personnel looked for survivors and bodies in the mud-and-rock debris battling inclement weather.

Officials said the death toll could go up. 14 injured survivors have also been pulled out of the rubble and admitted to a primary health centre nearby, sources at an emergency control room set up at Khed-Manchar told PTI.

An earlier report had said 15 persons were extricated from the debris alive.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said over 160 people were believed to be trapped in 44 houses buried under the rubble after large parts of a hillside collapsed early this morning.

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, up to 200 people may be trapped.

Chavan has left for the village with Deputy CM Ajit Pawar to personally monitor the 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 rains. Large parts of Maharashtra have been witnessing heavy and incessant rains over the past few days.

An NDRF spokesman said 158 people--61 children, 60 women, and 37 men-- are feared to be trapped under the debris.

He said the landslide-affected village is spread over 50-metre radius and has a total number of 70 houses, out of which 46 have been affected.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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