10 dead as landslide sweeps away buses, rescue operations underway

One of them said that they (the five survivors) had alighted after being alerted by a person on a two-wheeler who was reportedly making a video of the approaching landslide. The incident happened near Mandi-Pathankot highway late last night.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the deaths.

The landslide which is suspected to be caused by a cloudburst also swept away houses and many other vehicles including a auto and a jeep besides around 250 meters stretch of Pathankot-Mandi national highway.

Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam said that they cannot tell the possibility of the death of each person. The rescue operations, which had to be stopped due to repeated landslides in the area, have started again.

In the second bus, around 35 to 40 passengers are feared to have been buried and trapped inside the bus. Heavy rains in the area are said to have triggered the landslide in Himachal Pradesh. Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal also visited the spot. The bus was said to be going from Manali to Katra in Jammu.

The chief minister said the state government would bear medical expenses of the injured passengers.

Two State Transport buses and some light vehicles have been buried under the huge debris that had come down in the wee hours on Sunday. He directed to assess the loss to the property at the earliest so that the sufferers could be provided compensation and other assistance.

Himachal Pradesh transport minister G S Bali said that around 50 people are feared to have been washed away in the incident, following which a rescue operation was launched.

The CM announced an immediate relief of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of deceased.

The government has also announced a financial assistance of 7,795 US dollars for the families that have lost their members in the accident.

Vanessa Coleman

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