Himachal Pradesh: Landslide Death Toll Reaches 46 In Mandi

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 2
| August 14 , 2017 , 07:43 IST

The death toll in the massive landslide that hit the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday has reached 46 as more bodies were recovered from the debris. The landslide covered a nearly 150 metre stretch of road, burying homes, two buses and other vehicles, bringing to a stop traffic on both sides.

"We believe that most of the bodies have been recovered. Rescue operation was stopped during night as there were chances of more mudslides. But it will resume in the morning," a government official said.

From the bodies recovered, 23 bodies are yet to be identified.

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The landslide took place on the Mandi-Pathankot highway near Kotropi village 220 km from Shimla, where two Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses had stopped on the highway for refreshments. The bus rolled down 800 below the road and was found buried under a huge mound of debris.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team, the Army and the police rushed to the spot and heavy earth-moving machinery was deployed at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris.

The locals were forced to vacate their homes and ran for the forest area minutes before the landslide.

"A few boulders started rolling down just ahead of the disaster. Sensing trouble, we all ran towards the forest area and managed to save ourselves," a survivor said.

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Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, visited the spot on Sunday and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed, and has directed local civil authorities to assess the loss to the property at the earliest so that the sufferers could be adequately compensated.

Calling the incident "an unprecedented tragedy", the CM Singh said that the rescue operations would continue until the last body of the victims was recovered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the deaths, in a tweet he said, "Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP's Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased."