Beas River Tragedy: Rescuers Recover Fifth Body

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Beas River Tragedy: Rescuers Recover Fifth Body

The missing students were part of sightseeing group from the VNR Vignan Jyothi Engineering College in Hyderabad.

Mandi, Himachal Pradesh:  Rescuers this morning recovered the body of one more student, who was among the 24 swept away on Sunday in a sudden surge of water released from a dam in Himachal Pradesh. The body will be sent for post mortem and then back home. Totally, five bodies have been found so far.
Here are the top 10 developments:
  1. The students were all from an engineering college in Hyderabad. They were standing on the Beas river's edge on Sunday evening taking photographs when they were hit by a torrent of water. So far, five bodies have been recovered, while 19 students and one tour guide are still missing.
  2. The Himachal Pradesh government has announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh each to the families of those drowned. "We will take complete stock of the situation, search ops are doing whatever they can, we will give compensation of 1.5 lakhs...," said Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister GS Bali.
  3. The bodies of four of the 24 students were flown back to Hyderabad last evening. A plane carrying 22 students, who were part of the group tour, also returned to Hyderabad on a special flight arranged by the Andhra Pradesh government.
  4. More than 550 personnel are part of the search team, of which 150 are police personnel and 20 army divers.
  5. Civil aviation minister and senior TDP leader Gajapathi Raju accompanied the families of students to Himachal Pradesh on Monday evening. Many of them have opted to stay back in the hope that the bodies of their kin will be recovered today.
  6. A group of nearly 50 engineering students were travelling on buses to the tourist hill station of Manali when they stopped in the Kullu Valley, some 200 kilometres (130 miles) from state capital Shimla.
  7. The surge of water occurred when a hydroelectric power project opened its floodgates, sending tonnes of water downstream, officials have said. "It was not an accident, it was negligence. There was no warning or safety measure there," said K Kavitha, a parliamentarian from the TRS, the party that governs Telangana.
  8. Ravi Kumar, who survived the disaster, said, "The water level suddenly rose to five or six feet and the students who were close to the river were washed away." He said no help came from the district administration for hours, an allegation repeated by other students.
  9. Angry locals say authorities had failed to issue a warning about the release of water from the dam. The additional district magistrate has, however, claimed that a siren went off before the dam water was released. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has ordered an inquiry to fix responsibility for the tragedy. Two senior engineers in charge of the Lajri dam have been suspended for alleged negligence.
  10. Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states including neighbouring Uttarakhand are home to a string of hydroelectric projects as India rushes to expand power generation to meet rising demand.


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