The rescue teams on Thursday recovered 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 in this region.
They have retrieved 12 bodies, so far; and 12 students and a tour operator remain missing. The 25 victims from VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, were drowned during excursion at Thalout near Mandi town.
The latest bodies recovered are of students M Siva Prakash Verma, Ashish Mantha and Macharla Akhil. "The bloated bodies were found floating about 300 metres 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 the other two during their patrolling of the river in the afternoon.
The college officials camping in Mandi identified the bodies, after which the authorities moved these to the zonal hospital for autopsy. The swollen body of student P Venkata Durga Tarun had surfaced on Wednesday. "The bodies that were buried under the silt possibly now have started bloating and surfacing," said Rai.
The administration has informed the victims' parents, who have gone back to Hyderabad. The search for the bodies continued on the 11th day. "The army and the navy have pulled their divers out of the operation," told Rai. In the first four days, the 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.