Himachal landslide: Death toll reaches 13; search underway for missing
The death toll in the Himachal Pradesh landslide climbed to 13 on Thursday after more dead bodies were recovered early morning. Rescue work had reportedly resumed at 6 am today after being suspended at 10 pm on Wednesday, following a landslide near Nigulsari village in Kinnaur, which buried at least five vehicles. Passengers of a state transport bus and a Bolero car remain missing.
According to an update from the Himachal Pradesh Emergency Operation Center, 13 people have been rescued. They were sent to the CHC-Bhawanagar for medical treatment. The death toll has also risen to 13, officials confirmed. The latest deaths were confirmed after more bodies were pulled out from a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus, State Disaster Management Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta told PTI.
On Wednesday, several vehicles, including a bus carrying 24 passengers, were hit by a landslide on a highway near Nigulsari in Himachal's Kinnaur district. Officials said large boulders had tumbled down the mountainside around 12:45 pm on to NH-5 from Kinnaur to Shimla. Several people are feared to be trapped under the debris as multiple vehicles were hit by the stone shooting.
Rescue operations are being carried out by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) along with the members of local police and home guards. Reportedly, 52 ITBP personnel, 56 NDRF personnel, and 30 police personnel are engaged in rescue and relief. Ten ambulances and four earth removers were also deployed by the state government at the site.
State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have assured help from the Centre. Expressing his grief, Modi had tweeted, "May the injured recover at the earliest. Rescue operations are underway and everything possible is being done to assist those still trapped." Thakur said the Army has also offered help, including the deployment of a helicopter.