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Over 100 stranded at waterfall rescued in Maharashtra; IAF pitches-in

Over 100 people stranded at a waterfall near here amid heavy rains yesterday were rescued in a multi-agency operation which also saw the deployment of an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter. Nearly 120 people had gone for a picnic at the Chinchoti waterfall, located in the Tungareshwar hill range at Vasai in neighbouring Palghar district, around 75 km from here, and got stranded following a heavy downpour. The local police, fire brigade, disaster management cell and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel swung into action and rescued 97 people after they got information about picnickers being trapped at the tourist spot, a spokesperson of the Palghar police said today. As local authorities were not able to reach some of the stranded people due to the dense forest and hilly terrain, the IAF was also called in for help, he said. Braving the rough weather, the IAF personnel searched around the waterfall in a helicopter and spotted five people, including three women, stranded at a hilly spot last evening, an official of the state disaster management cell said. All the five people were rescued by the IAF and flown to the Mumbai airport, he said. A 35-year-old man from suburban Kandivli was swept away yesterday by strong currents in the waterfall, the police had earlier said. The rescue operation was later called off after there was no report of any person stranded or missing in the area, a senior police official said.

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