Kerala

Kerala rains | Idukki landslip death toll rises to 26 after recovery of 8 more bodies

With the recovery of eight more bodies, the death toll in the Pettimudy landslip rose to 26 on Saturday.

Four layams (workers quarters) in the Nayamakkad tea estate, near Rajamala, in Munnar were buried under the debris of a major landslip on Thursday night.

The search operations, which were discontinued late on Friday due to unfavourable weather, resumed on Saturday morning.

Devikulam subcollector S. Premkrishnan said the ground was prepared for burying the bodies near the accident area.

After completing the autopsy and other formalities, the bodies would be buried there. It was estimated that 44 people were still missing, he added.

Though the weather condition at Pettimudy was favourable in the morning, rain and mist hampered the search operation in the afternoon. An NDRF team was leading the operation, with doctors camping near a makeshift mortuary to conduct post-mortem examination. The search operations will continue on Sunday.

So far, 24 bodies have been identified. It is feared that 21 persons from a family are among the victims. Mayilswami, his brother Ganesh, Ananthasivam, and their families were trapped in the accident. Mayilswami was a driver at the Eravikulam National Park.

Six persons hit by the landslip were staff of the Forest Department. They are Mayilswami, Ganeshan, Rekha, Raja, Manikandan, and Achutan. The bodies of Raja and Mayilswami had been recovered.

The news of the tragedy reached outside only on Friday morning due to the inaccessibility of the area.

The residents reached a forest check-post at Rajamala and informed the officials there.

Revenue Minister E.Chandrasekharan and Electricity Minister M.M. Mani are coordinating the rescue operations. Earlier, Dean Kuriakose, MP, visited the spot and camped there.

Kanan Devan Hills Plantation Ltd. has announced a financial assistance of ₹5 lakh each to the kin of the bereaved families.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 1:17:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/idukki-landslip-8-more-bodies-found/article32306857.ece

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