Killed, Over 25 Missing As Landslide Hits Himachal Pradesh

Only 12 bodies have been recovered so far after daylong rescue and joint search operation carried out by the administration, police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), army and locals.

Kadam, along with SP Mandi, and the rescue team reached the spot (45 kilometres away from Mandi town) within an hour of the tragedy.

The two cars had stopped to take a break to midnight, Saturday, in Himachal Pradesh, a hill State of northern India, when tons of rock and mud took out a section of the road, approximately 200 kilometers from the State capital, Shimla.

According to eyewitnesses, the two buses were stationed at a kiosk located on the highway for refreshments when the disaster occurred.

A 250-metre stretch of the road has been completely washed away and Mandi-Joginder Nagar road has been closed for traffic. While one bus was on its way to Chamba from Manali, another was on its way to Katra in Jammu from Manali.

At least 44 passengers died after a bus carrying them turned turtle and fell into River Tons in Himachal Pradesh's Gumma on Wednesday. Which has been damaged by the landslide People are in fear many truck buses and other vehicle are trapped there. He said bodies of nine passengers travelling in this bus were retrieved. "As per estimates, 25-30 are missing", an official told IANS.

State revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs four lakh to the next of kin of the deceased while transport minister announced that Rs one lakh financial assistance would be given by HRTC. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the landslide spot and took stock of the situation.

Vanessa Coleman