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Maharashtra landslide toll touches 50

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The toll in a landslide disaster in Maharashtra's Malin village touched 50, with another 22 injured, an official said here Friday.

"So far we have recovered 50 bodies. The relief and rescue work continues on a war-footing," Pune Collector Saurabh Rao, who is monitoring the situation round-the-clock, told IANS.

The village was entirely swept under a landslide Wednesday.

It has also come to light that around two dozen people were sleeping on a platform of the village temple premises in Malin and they may have been washed away in the adjacent river.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has started a combing operation along the banks of the river, now in a spate due to incessant rains, to search for victims or survivors.

Braving all odds, the relief and rescue teams continued to search for survivors or bodies of the estimated 130 people who are still feared trapped under the debris, though chances of any more survivors appeared bleak.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar visited Malin and supervised the ongoing search operations here Thursday.

Meanwhile, heavy rains accompanied by strong winds lashed Malin and surrounding areas since early Friday, slowing down the rescue work.

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