Mortal remains of eight more Territorial Army personnel and four more civilians have been recovered on Friday raising the death toll of Noney landslide to 21 even as joint rescue operations by Indian Army, Assam Rifles, Territorial Army, Manipur Police, SDRF and NDRF continued at the incident site at Tupul on Friday.
As many as 18 people were rescued, while 13 more bodies were recovered on Friday, taking the death toll to 21, including 15 Army personnel, while 42 others remained missing in the unfateful Noney landslide of June 29 midnight.
As informed by PRO Defence in a press release, 10 columns have been pressed into the search operation. Synergised and the joint operational task force is coordinating the efforts to remove the mud and boulders. A Through Wall Radar is also being inducted by air to detect the presence of personnel buried in the debris. A search and rescue dog is also being inducted.
On Friday early morning, GOC in C Eastern Command, Lt Gen RP Kalita met the six injured Territorial Army personnel who were initially evacuated to Leimakhong Military Hospital on June 30 and are now being provided medical aid at the Assam Rifles Hospital at Mantripukhri.
A Through Wall Radar is being used to detect any human presence inside the mud pile. So far 13 Territorial Army personnel and five civilians have been safely rescued, while mortal remains of 15 Territorial Army personnel and five civilians have been recovered so far. Mortal remains of Territorial Army personnel are being despatched to respective home stations with full military honors. Search for 15 missing Territorial Army personnel and 29 civilians will continue unabated, the press release said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren visited the Tupul Railway Construction Camp, Noney where the unfortunate landslide had occurred leaving several casualties, for the second time on Friday and personally reviewed the rescue operation being taken up at the site. The Chief Minister visited the landslide area on Thursday to see the situation.
Briefing the media at the spot, Biren termed the massive landslide as one of the worst incidents to have occurred in the State, informing that 81 persons had been affected, out of which 18 persons had been rescued.
Due to the soft condition of the soil, roads leading to the actual area of landslide couldn’t be restored, he said, adding that the State Government had put all efforts using possible manpower and machines to recover the missing persons.
The Chief Minister expressed thankfulness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for showing much concern about the incident and providing assistance by sending NDRF personnel. He was hopeful that all the missing persons would be found within two to three days. He also informed that equipment had been brought from Ladakh by the Army which could locate the whereabouts of the dead bodies using Through Wall Radar system.
He lauded the rescue operation team for their tireless efforts to recover the missing persons.
Chief Minister Biren Singh was accompanied by Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Relief and Disaster Management Minister Awangbow Newmai, Social Welfare Minister Heikham Dingo, Transport Minister Khasim Vashum, Chairman, Hill Areas Committee and MLA of Nungba AC Diganglung Gangmei, MLA of Keirao AC Lourembam Rameshwor Meetei, MLA of Tamenglong AC Janghemlung Panmei, Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar and other senior civil and police officials among others.