- 2 buses in Himachal Pradesh were buried under a massive landslide
- The buses were swept away 800 metres down into a gorge
- 5 people have been rescued so far and taken to a hospital
The army along with the local authorities and the National Disaster Response Force are carrying out a search and rescue operation. The police said five people have been rescued and taken to a hospital in Mandi. The bodies of the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot Chanden Sharma and Satpal, respectively, have been found.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolence. "Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP's Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased," PM Modi tweeted.
Team of @NDRFHQ is going to Mandi to take part in the rescue and relief operations and provide all possible assistance required.- PMO India (@PMOIndia) 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.
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 mangled chassis of the bus bound for Katra in Jammu have been retrieved, the police said. Rescue workers are finding it difficult to retrieve the Manali-bound bus as it rolled down 800 metres below the road and got stuck under a huge mound of debris.
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.
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.
With inputs from PTI and IANS.