Rescuers on Thursday retrieved three more bodies of the 24 Hyderabad engineering students who were washed away in the Beas river on June 8 after a sudden release of water from the Larji dam.
So far 12 bodies have been recovered while the bodies of 12 more students and a tour operator are still missing.
The 25 victims from VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, were drowned during an excursion to Thalout near Mandi town.
Rescue personnel gather on the banks of the Beas river during a search operation in Kullu, a day after 24 engineering students of Hyderabad were washed away. (AFP Photo)
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The bodies recovered on Thursday are of students M Siva Prakash Verma, Ashish Mantha and Macharla Akhil.
"The bloated bodies were found floating about 300 metre upstream of the Pandoh reservoir," said additional district magistrate Pankaj Rai. The first body was recovered early morning, while National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) fished out the other two in the afternoon.
College officials camping in Mandi identified the bodies after which the authorities moved these to the zonal hospital for autopsy.
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"The bodies were buried under the silt and have now started bloating and surfacing," Rai added.
The administration has informed the victims' parents, who have gone back to Hyderabad. The search for the bodies continued for the 11th day of the tragedy.
"The army and the navy have pulled their divers out of the operation," told Rai.
In the first four days, the rescue teams recovered eight bodies that had been trapped under the riverbed rocks.
However, no more bodies were recovered for the next five days as they got buried under silt.
Telangana transport minister Mahidhar Reddy, who is overseeing the search operation, informed the parents about the latest bodies recovered. Reddy said he would stay at Mandi until the last body was found.