Imphal, July 2: In the wake of recovery of eight more bodies on Saturday, the death toll in Thursday's massive landslides in Manipur's Noney district, triggered by incessant rains, has risen to 27, including 22 Territorial Army personnel, while over 40 more people are still missing, officials said.
Official reports said that more than 80 persons are feared to have been buried alive after the massive mudslide in the under-construction railway infrastructures at Tupul in western Manipur.
Officials said that 13 injured Territorial Army soldiers and five civilians have been extricated even as rescue operations by the army, and central and state agencies were on at full pace since the past three days.
A defence spokesman said that mortal remains of 14 Territorial Army personnel, including one JCO, were sent to their respective home stations by Indian Air Force aircraft and an Indian Army helicopter, while one body was sent to Manipur's Kangpokpi by road after a wreath-laying ceremony in Imphal. The Army's Red Shield Division commander and Inspector General of Assam Rifles, South, participated in the ceremony.
Search for 12 missing Territorial Army personnel and 26 civilians continued by the Army, Assam Rifles, Territorial Army, national and state disaster response force at Tupul, and several excavators are being used to pull out bodies from the Ijei River.
Around 10 columns of defence personnel have been pressed into the search operation, he said, adding a synergised and joint operational task force is coordinating the efforts to remove the mud and boulders.