Pettimudy landslip: 16 more bodies recovered, death toll rises to 42
Munnar: With 16 more dead bodies retrieved from the debris of a devastating landslide in Pettimudy near Rajamalai here in Idukki district, the death toll in the tragedy has rised to 42.
Union Minister V Muraleedharan, Forest Minister K Raju, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, Shafi Parambil MLA and BJP State President K Surendran visited the accident spot on Sunday.
The search operations by NDRF for those buried under the mud are ongoing. 10 excavators and earthmovers are being deployed here.
NDRF informed the search will continue for three more days for the bodies.
According to the government, 78 people were staying at the spot where the tragedy occurred. While 12 were rescued, 28 bodies were found earlier.
The picturesque landscape of Pettimudy was flattened into a rough patch of boulders and mud with parts of asbestos and tin sheets seen scattered around.
The incident is said to have occurred in the wee hours of Friday when a huge mound of earth fell on the "row houses" and two children and five women were among the deceased, most of whom were plantation workers from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Forest Minister K Raju said that six forest department employees were among those in the accident and two bodies were recovered.
Meanwhile Union Minister Muraleedharan demanded to increase the financial aid announced to the families of the deceased. He added that he is waiting for Chief Minister to make his stance clear.
Muraleedharan also asked CM to make clear why he was differentiating between the victims of Pettimudy landslide and Karipur plane crash.