Kinnaur landslide: Death toll reaches 14 as four more bodies recovered



SHIMLA: Four more bodies were recovered from the landslide site in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district where the search and rescue operation resumed early on Thursday, raising the death toll to 14, officials said.

Four more bodies were recovered from the spot after the rescue operation resumed, Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq told PTI.

He said 14 bodies have been recovered so far.

The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus, which, along with other vehicles, was buried under the debris after the landslide, has been found in a badly damaged condition, State Disaster Management Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said.

However, a Bolero car still could not be traced, he added.

The HRTC bus was on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar via Shimla when it was hit by boulders after the landslide around Wednesday noon near Chaura village on national highway-5 in Nigulsari area of Nichar tehsil.

A video of the rescue workers at the site near the mangled remains of the bus has gone viral whereby a rescuer is heard saying that the bus was found by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) 17th Battalion personnel.

Another rescuer states that gloves should be brought for further carrying the operation.

The rescue operation, being carried out jointly by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the ITBP and the members of local police and home guards, resumed at 6 am on Thursday, Mokhta said.

The authorities had suspended the operation on Wednesday at around 10 pm.

Ten bodies were recovered on Wednesday, while 13 others were rescued with injuries.

Several others are still feared buried under the debris.

However the exact number was not known.

On Wednesday, the Bhawanagar station house officer (SHO) had said around 25 to 30 people were trapped under the debris.

When the initial reports came, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had told the state assembly that 50-60 people were feared trapped under the debris but the exact number was not known.

The Kinnaur deputy commissioner had also told PTI that over 40 passengers were in the bus.

Eight of the dead were found trapped in a Tata Sumo taxi during the search and rescue operation on Wednesday.

A truck rolled down towards a riverside due to shooting stones and the driver’s body has been recovered, officials said.

A car had also been found in the damaged condition on Wednesday but no one was found in it, they added.

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