Thirty people are feared killed after a massive landslide buried two buses they were travelling in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district. The incident happened near Mandi-Pathankot highway late last night.
The army along with the local authorities and the National Disaster Response Force are carrying out a search and rescue operation. Five people have been rescued, an official said. Eight bodies have been recovered, including the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot Chanden Sharma and Satpal, respectively.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh tweeted he is on his way to the accident site, adding the NDRF has been called in.
“Immediate relief will be provided,” Mr Singh said.
My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in Mandi.Request Himachal govt. & local Congress units to provide all possible help
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 13, 2017
The landslide happened at Kotrupi, 220 kilometres from Shimla. The police said the two buses were parked on the highway while the passengers were out for snacks just before the landslide happened. It swept away the buses 800 metres down into a gorge and buried one of the buses completely.
One of the buses was going from Chamba to Manali and the other from Manali to Katra. Director General of Police Somesh Goyal said eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra bus while 47 passengers were in the other bus.
The number of people who are feared dead in the landslide is likely to increase, Mandi Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam told reporters. Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister GS Bali the number of those feared dead could be as high as 50.