Maharashtra: Six killed, 19 missing in Ratnagiri’s Tiware dam breach

Mumbai: At least six people were killed and 19 went missing after a dam in Maharashtra's coastal Konkan region breached following incessant rains leading to flood-like situation in downstream villages, officials said on Wednesday.

The Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district developed a breach late Tuesday night after heavy rains, a district official said. A local police official said six dead bodies have been recovered so far while 19 people are still missing. The dam breach caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages, with as many as 12 houses being swept away. When contacted, Additional Superintendent of Police, Ratnagiri, Vishal Gaikwad said a search operation has been launched by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state police personnel.

"Police have moved the villagers to safer places. The situation is under control now," he said. Another police officer said rescue operations were hampered initially due to darkness and sudden influx of water. However, local public representatives alleged that the government neglected their pleas for maintenance of the dam. They claimed to have written to the administration about the cracks in the walls of the dam, but no action was taken. Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said villagers in the vicinity of the Tiware dam had complained of cracks in the dam.

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