'I Am Among the Students Who Survived the Himachal Tragedy'

Published: June 09, 2014 11:19 IST
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(TV Suharsha, 19, is among the students from Telangana who were touring the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh when disaster struck. Water was suddenly released from a dam on the River Beas, sweeping away a group of 24 who had stopped to take pictures of the picturesque stop, near the state capital of Shimla. Here is this survivor's account of the horrific tragedy.)

We were on our way to Manali. Our group had 48 students, three faculty members and a child of one of the faculty members..

It was around 5:30-6 pm on the second day of our tour and we all wanted to stop for a break.

We asked the locals if it was safe and they replied in the affirmative. We didn't know there was a dam there.

We were all sitting on the rocks, taking photos. There was a big rock in the middle of the river and everyone wanted to reach the top of that rock. Some made their way to it  by stepping on a series of small rocks.

After about 10 minutes, the water lever started rising.  I was upstream and I noticed it first.  I began screaming, trying to alert everyone as I rushed back.

I reached the  spot where we had stopped and we tried to help everyone make their way back to the shore from the big rock.  But there were too many people and the way back was just this one route with these small rocks that everyone had to use as stepping stones.

We were all screaming, trying to help. The locals were also helping us. About 10-15 students were washed away in front of us.  We saw a  body in the water - I  could just see the head - I didn't know if the student was still alive. I threw a rope towards the student but the body soon just disappeared.

I started running towards the dam - which was 1.5 km away..on the way I met at an official (but he said that he had alerted the people at the dam..they were trying to stop the water. So I turned back.

The entire tragedy had taken place just 10 minutes after we got down from the bus.

We are all in a state of shock.

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