India recovers 13 bodies after monsoon dam breach

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Thirteen bodies have been recovered in
western India after the heaviest monsoon rains in a decade breached a dam and
caused mayhem in Mumbai, authorities said Thursday.

Eleven people were still missing after the dam in Ratnagiri, around 275
kilometres (170 miles) south of Mumbai, burst on Wednesday and swamped seven
local villages, rescuers said.

“We have commenced rescue operations for the second day and recovered 13
dead bodies. We are still trying to find remaining victims,” National
Disaster Response Force spokesman Alok Awasthy told AFP.

In Mumbai, the death toll from a wall collapse in a slum on Tuesday rose
to 26 as the city braced for 200 millimetres (eight inches) of fresh rain
forecast in the coming days.

Six labourers also died in the nearby city of Pune when another wall
collapsed on Tuesday.

Building collapses and dam breaches are common during the monsoon in India
due to dilapidated structures that buckle under the weight of continuous
rain.

Torrential downpours in Mumbai — a city of 20 million — earlier this
week caused traffic misery as floods swamped roads and railways and forced
the closure of the airport’s main runway, which remained off limits on
Thursday.

India’s second-busiest airport cancelled 75 flights on Wednesday and more
than 100 on Tuesday, causing chaos for passengers.

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