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46 dead in Himachal Pradesh as landslide swallows road

Shimla, Aug 14: Forty-six bodies had been recovered till rescue operations were suspended for the night on Sunday after two Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses were struck by a massive landslide triggered by incessant rain on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway-154 around 12.20 am. The mudslide swallowed a 150-metre stretch of the road, homes and vehicles, including the two buses that had stopped at a kiosk for refreshments.

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“As per the last communication with the driver, the bus (to Manali) was packed to capacity,” Transport Minister GS Bali told a TV channel. Sources said an HRTC AC bus (HP-63-5840), on its way from Manali to Katra with 10 passengers on board, was swept away near Kotrupi village (adjacent to Urla) in Padhar sub-division, 35 km from Mandi town. Three passengers died on the spot. The rest were hospitalised.

Another HRTC bus (HP-73-4423) coming from Chamba was thrown 1,000 metres down the road. It was completely buried. AN Salaria, Divisional Manager, HRTC, said this bus was carrying 50 passengers. Despite heaps of muck impeding rescue operations, Army personnel and a team of the National Disaster Response Force are on the job. Eyewitness Sanjiv Kumar said he heard some victims crying out for help as a bus halted mid-way on the disaster site. But it was struck by the debris again and buried completely. “Owing to the muck and pitch darkness, we could not come to their rescue,” he said regretfully.

Locals told officials they vacated their homes and fled towards the forest area  minutes before the landslide. “A few boulders started rolling down. Sensing trouble, we ran towards the forest area and managed to save ourselves,” a survivor said. She said her house was washed away and her livestock had perished.

Source Tribune India

Himachal Khurki
Himachal Khurki
Himachali with blood, heart & Soul. Gali Gali Himachal Ki Nas Nas Mein Basi Hain. Truly loves & care about the state of Himachal Pradesh


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