In an eerie replay of the Beas tragedy, at least ten people – aged between 12 to 20 years – were trapped in the middle of the Damodar river on Friday night after a gate of the Tenughat dam was thrown open, sending millions of cubic feet of water swirling downstream, near Pachaura village here.
The stranded persons managed to climb atop a concrete platform built by the Chandrapura Thermal Power Station to check the strong currents of the river.
Personnel of Bokaro police and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) have launched an operation to rescue the stranded persons, who were spotted shouting for help at around 3 pm.
On June 8, 24 engineering students from Hyderabad and a tour operator were washed away in the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh after sudden release of water from the Larji dam.
It was not immediately clear how the ten persons found themselves in the middle of the Damodar river when the water level rose.
The site of the incident is around 150 km from capital Ranchi and around 10 km from here.
The dam's gate was opened after the water level rose to 853.5 feet against the safe level of 852.10 feet.
"We are trying our best to rescue all the people," said Bermo sub-divisional officer Rahul Sinha. The administration has also asked the Tenughat dam officials to shut the gate so that the water level of the river level decreases.
However, officials said that it takes between 4 to 5 hours for water level of Damodar to decrease at Chandrapura after gates of the dam located in Tenughat is closed.
Tenughat Dam division executive engineer AK Jha stated that he had informed the administration before opening the gate.
"If we do not open the gates it would lead to submergence of villages near the dam," he said.