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Mother And Baby Pulled Alive From Landslide
A mother and her three-year-old son have been rescued after being buried alive for six hours by a landslide in western India.
Pramila Lende was feeding her baby boy when she heard the roar of rocks and mud hurtling down a steep hillside overlooking the village.
"I heard the sound of stones falling so I started running with my child but the mud covered my body," she said.
Despite being buried by mud and debris Ms Lende kept the infant in a pocket of air until his cries were heard by rescuers. The baby suffered only minor scratches in the ordeal.
The doctor that pulled the pair from the mud said: "At 2pm we heard the sound of a child crying near a house where the rescue operation was going on.
"We rescued and stabilised him and then we saw the mother moving and we rescued her immediately."
At least 51 people have been confirmed dead after two days of torrential rain triggered the avalanche that buried the remote village of Malin in the foothills of the Sahyadri mountains in Maharashtra.
It is feared the number of dead will grow as more than 150 people are believed to have been buried under the mud. Many of the village's residents were asleep when the landslide struck on Wednesday morning.
Villagers have been using their bare hands in a frantic attempt to dig for survivors despite further rain hampering the rescue effort.
Suresh Dhonde, who was working in another town when the landslide ripped through his village, said only two people managed to get out of his house alive.
"The other six are buried under the mud," he said.
District official DD Kale said: "We have reached the main inhabited area and are continuing efforts."
Authorities said the chances of survival for anyone still trapped under the mud were slim.
Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June through September.
The area around the village had been deforested extensively, increasing its vulnerability to landslides.