9 tourists killed, 3 injured in Himachal landslides

  • According to deputy commissioner (Kinnaur), Abid Hussain Sadique, the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when multiple landslides, triggered by recent rainfall, collapsed a bridge and damaged vehicles on the Batseri-Sangla road.
A bridge collapsed due to a landslide at Batseri of Sangla valley in Kinnaur District on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A bridge collapsed due to a landslide at Batseri of Sangla valley in Kinnaur District on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Published on Jul 26, 2021 06:20 AM IST
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By Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times, Shimla

Nine tourists were killed and three others, including a local resident, were injured when heavy boulders fell on their tempo traveller during multiple landslides in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district on Sunday.

According to deputy commissioner (Kinnaur), Abid Hussain Sadique, the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when multiple landslides, triggered by recent rainfall, collapsed a bridge and damaged vehicles on the Batseri-Sangla road.

A viral video purportedly showed boulders rolling downhill, causing the bridge to collapse.

Sudesh Kumar Mokta, Special secretary (Revenue) who is also director of State Disaster Management Authority, said the nine tourists were killed when the boulders fell on their tempo traveller, while heading towards Sangla from Chitkul village. “All the bodies have been recovered,” said Kinnaur superintendent of police, Sarju Ram Rana.

Police have identified the deceased as Pratiksha Sunil Patil from Maharashtra, Amogh Bapat and Satish Katakbar from Chhattisgarh, Umarav Singh from Delhi and Rajasthan’s Deepa Sharma, Kumar Ulhar Ved Pathak, Anurag Bihani, Maya Devi and Richa Bihani.

The three injured are Shiril Oberoi from Delhi, Naveen Bhardwaj from Punjab and Ranjit Singh, a resident of Batseri village in Kinnaur district.

“The hill top is highly prone to landslides. We have been observing the shooting stones from the hill top for the last two days. Yesterday too, a vehicle was damaged but luckily no one was injured,” said Pradeep Negi, pradhan, Batseri panchayat.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences over the death of people.

“Deeply saddened by the news of the death of many people in a landslide in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. Express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured people a speedy recovery,” Kovind tweeted in Hindi.

Modi said all arrangements are being made for the treatment of those injured and announced an ex gratia of 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and 50,000 to the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, who is on a three-day visit to Mandi, also expressed grief over the deaths and asked the district administration to ensure immediate relief and rescue operations.

“I spoke to the Kinnaur district administration and inquired about the accident. The administration has started rescue operation... I pray to God for speedy recovery of the injured,” he said in a Twitter post.

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Monday, October 25, 2021