New Delhi - Up to 150 people were feared trapped by a landslide triggered by heavy rains in western India on Wednesday, the inspector general of the national disaster force told reporters, saying that the first batch of emergency workers had arrived at the scene.
Sandeep Rai Rathore said difficult terrain was affecting the mobility of the rescue teams at the site, 60km from the western city of Pune.
The landslide submerged Malin village in Pune district of Maharashtra state, said Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force.
"Civil authorities say around 42 to 50 houses are affected... 150 people are feared trapped. We have sent two teams," Avasthy told AFP.
He said that it was difficult to confirm casualties as the village has been cut off from communications.
Indian television station CNN-IBN said five people were killed in the landslide, while another five have been rescued.
Heavy machinery has been mobilised to try to rescue those feared trapped, while about 30 ambulances have been rushed to the scene, local government official Saurav Rao told the Press Trust of India news agency.
"Exact number of casualties is not known as we are moving slowly to ensure that those trapped are removed safely," district collector Rao said.
Heavy rains have been falling for days in Maharashtra as a result of the annual monsoon.
Almost 6 000 people are presumed to have died during flash floods and landslides triggered by last year's monsoon rains in the northern India state of Uttarakhand. - AFP and Reuters