Munnar landslide: Death toll reaches to 24; Search on for missing people

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Kerala's landslide site at Pettimudi. Courtesy: Mathrubhumi.com

IDUKKI: The rescue team on Saturday recovered six more bodies from the debris of the landslide site. Now the total number of deaths in the Pettimudi landslide incident in Munnar of Kerala reached to 24. But a confusion regarding the exact number of people settled in Pettimudi before the landslide persists.

According to sources, more NDRF, Defence Security Corps and fire force team have arrived at Pettimudi to strengthen rescue operations. Roads and bridges leading to the area have also been washed off and hence, access is extremely difficult.

Authorities and local residents feel that more bodies could be found under the mounds of rocks and soil.

Most of the plantation workers settled in the area are migrant employees from Tamil Nadu. It is learnt that some of their relatives came to Pettimudi before the landslide was triggered. The list of missing persons includes some of them too, the locals said.

It is also feared that a 21-member family of former Munnar panchayat member Anantha Shivan have been buried inside the debris. The landslide washed away as many as four lanes of plantation workers, a club and an estate canteen .

The rescue workers and the marooned people are facing road inaccessibility as the biggest challenge. Moreover the forming up of a gushing stream at Pettimudi in the area has made the situation even worse. The rescue workers have pointed chances of dead bodies having floated down the stream. Search operation is extended to 3 km down the settlement.

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