24 engineering students and a tour operator were washed away into the turbulent river by a wall of water while they were busy clicking photographs near the Larji Hydropower project.
The students, from the V N R Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad, were on an excursion to Manali. ('Half My Class Is Wiped Out')
Search teams and rescuers continue to look for the 18 missing, but strong rapids, huge boulders and high levels of silt are hampering their operations.
It will be tough to recover some bodies as they may be trapped under the boulders or sunk under the silt, say rescuers. ('One Second We Were Taking Pictures, Then it Was All Over')
The Navy yesterday sent a team of expert divers to assist Army, police and Indo Tibetan Border Police or ITBP personnel in the search operations.
A case of negligence has been registered against authorities of the Larji Hydropower project by A Aditya, a teacher accompanying the students.
The case was filed under sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Shaken by the massive outrage over the tragedy, the Himachal Pradesh government yesterday announced a slew of measures to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
They include fencing along a three km stretch at all dams and other sensitive and dangerous projects and installation of proper sign boards. The power department, sources in the state government said, has also been instructed to take more precautions while releasing water from all dams in the future.