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11 dead in landslide, work on to extricate other bodies

Aizawl, May 12, 2013, (PTI) : 18:47 IST
The death toll in the landslide which hit Laipuitlang area here has risen to 11 with the recovery of one more body from the debris.

Three more bodies have been sighted and the rescue team is engaged in extricating them, while search is on for three others feared to be trapped, Superintendent of Police(Traffic) Lallianmawia, who is supervising the rescue work, said.

Heavy rainfall is affecting the pace of the rescue work, he said. Young Mizo Association (YMA) is assisting the police.

Lallianmawia said the body which was extricated last night was identified to be that of Zakir Hussein of Karimganj in Assam.

The landslide, that took place in the early hours yesterday, had swept away nine houses in north Aizawl killing eight and leaving about 11 untraced.

YMA vice-president Zohmingliana said the three more bodies which were sighted were trapped under a beam, which was being cut by the rescue workers.

A PWD office building, which had been vacated about a year ago after a crack developed on it, collapsed under the impact of the landslide and fell on nine houses below killing the victims, opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) said.

MNF has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who holds the Public Works Department (PWD) portfolio and his younger brother Lal Thanzara, Parliamentary Secretary for PWD owning responsibility.

"The negligence of PWD officials led to the disaster and Lal Thanhawla and his younger brother should step down owning responsibility to the incident," the MNF youth front in a statement said.

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