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Manipur landslide: Toll rises to 54, 7 still missing (Lead)

 Imphal, July 12 (IANS) With two more bodies recovered on Tuesday, the death toll in the June 30 landslide at a railway construction site in Manipur's Noney district rose to 54, mostly of Territorial Army soldiers, while search operations were underway in inclement weather to locate seven still missing, district officials said.

Manipur landslide: Toll rises to 54, 7 still missing (Lead)

Search operations by multiple agencies, including the army, continued for the 13th day to locate seven more missing people after the devastating landslide at Tupul.

An official of the Noney district administration said that the search operations by the Army, Territorial Army, the National and State Disaster Response Forces has been going on uninterruptedly since the catastrophic landslide on the intervening night of June 29 and 30, burying alive a large number of people, mostly Territorial Army, Railway employees, workers and villagers in the debris.

Eighteen persons were rescued alive and hospitalised.

State Relief and Disaster Minister Awangbow Newmai, who visited the spot sixth time on Tuesday, said that a review meeting would be held after three days in which the continuation of the search operation would be decided.

He said that the review meeting has been called on considering the hardship faced by the officials and volunteers who had been carrying out the search operation for 13 days without any break.

The Territorial Army soldiers were deployed at Tupul for security to the railway works, part of the Rs 14,320 crore broad gauge Jiribam-Imphal railway project, being executed by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), to connect the Manipur capital on the rail network by 2024.

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