Rescue workers struggle to reach Indian landslide victims

At least 30 dead with many more still trapped
Rescue teams continued a frantic search for victims trapped by debris from a landslide that has killed at least 30 people in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

Officials believe 160 people were trapped in Wednesday's landslide in Malin, a remote village near Pune. Eight of these people were pulled out alive, but hope is fading for others as heavy rain and winds have hampered rescue efforts, government officials said.

"So far we have been able to identify and remove 20 dead bodies from the debris and rescue 22 seriously injured people from the site, which is full of mud and stone debris," Ganesh Patil, Pune district official, told ucanews.com earlier.

"Part of the hill came rolling down due to rains and crashed on the village in the morning while most of the villagers were asleep," Patil said.

Relatives told of losing whole families after the hillside gave way early on Wednesday, sending tons of earth and trees crashing onto the village below, AFP reported.

Dramatic footage of the landslide showed a chunk of hillside giving way with a cascade of mud, rocks and trees, sending up clouds of dust below, AFP said.

District officials said they expect the death toll to rise. About 45 houses of the villages 70 homes were crushed under the landslide.

One of the officials said that nine hours after the tragedy, a rescue worker saved a woman and her sixth-month-old infant.

Patil said that the seriously injured were transported to a government hospital in Pune city, about 120 kilometers from the disaster site, while those with minor injuries were treated at a local primary health center.

Patil said the clearing of debris was a delicate operation as rescue workers needed to take great care to avoid causing further injuries to those who may be trapped alive.

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