Union HRD minister Smriti Irani Monday said that she has spoken to the Himachal Pradesh education minister about 24 engineering students being washed away near Mandi district.
"Spoke to Himachal Pradesh education minister (Shri) Bali regarding the tragic incident of 24 engineering students feared washed away near Mandi, also contacted the faculty member who was at the accident site. Was assured by tehsildar sadar Mandi that medical aid has been provided," Irani said in a tweet.
At least 24 students, including six girls of the VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad, went missing after strong currents in the Beas river washed them away.
Five bodies were found in Mandi while the fate of 19 others washed away in the river is still not known.
"I have also spoken to the principal of the college and assured him of cooperation. Our prayers are with the families in this hour of need," added Irani.
More than 60 students and faculty members were on an excursion to Manali. Some of them were getting themselves photographed on the banks of the river in Thalaut area near Hanogi Mata temple when they were washed away.
The water level suddenly increased due to release of water in the river without warning from a nearby hydropower project.