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Seven dead, over 20 missing in Himachal landslide

Seven dead, over 20 missing in Himachal landslide

Two buses carrying dozens of passengers had stopped for a tea break at a rest stop when the landslide struck.

Initial reports claimed several vehicles, including a bus is feared trapped in the debris on NH 154 at Kotrupi village of Padhar in the district. It swept away the road and the buses for nearly 800 metres down into a gorge leaving no trace of one of the buses.

Around 250 meters of the stretch of the road has been entirely washed away by the landslide.

Eyewitnesses said the landslide also swept away at least one private vehicle (a car) and a few two-wheelers.

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The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Rescue teams reached the scene but struggled in the dark and steep terrain with the army later joining the search. "A bus had also rolled down to almost 800 m from the National Highway and four people have been rescued from the debris". He said the rescue operation would continue until the last body of victim was recovered.

Rescue work, which is being carried out by teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Army and Himachal Pradesh Police, is set to resume in the morning. The State Revenue and Transport departments would provide compensation as per the relief manual, said Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur. My condolences with the families of the deceased, ' the PM said in a tweet. Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC.

"I am in constant touch with the district authorities and other concerned officials", Bali added.

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