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Rescue on at Mandi landslide site, 32 of 46 victims identified

Deputy commissioner Mandi Sandeep Kadam said the search operation has been on since Monday morning. “The search will continue until we scan the entire debris,” he said, adding, “Of total 46 recovered, 32 have been identified.”

india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 12:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla/Mandi
Rescue,Mandi landslide,landslide site
Rescue teams looking for survivors on Monday.(AFP)

Even as the search and rescue operation began with break of dawn, the teams have not succeeded to recover even a single body on Monday.

Deputy commissioner Mandi Sandeep Kadam said the search operation has been on since Monday morning. “The search will continue until we scan the entire debris,” he said, adding, “Of total 46 recovered, 32 have been identified.”

The search operation was called off on Sunday around 10pm due to poor light. On Monday, around 8am the search operation began with the help of army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) dig out more people feared trapped under the debris of major landslide in Mandi’s Kotrupi village.

Around 400 personnel, including 200 from Army, 40 from NDRF and rest police, home guard and fire brigade resumed the search operation in the morning about 8am. Till Sunday, 46 bodies were recovered. Besides these, local volunteers trained by the district administration to mitigate disaster are also assisting the search operation.

However, the administration does not have clear idea about those trapped in debris except a school teacher Prem Kumar. “Family of Prem Kumar has reached Mandi. We are trying to trace him,” a district administration official said. A volunteer Hitesh Kumar said Prem Kumar was in the Manali-Katra bus.

On Sunday, 46 bodies were recovered under the debris. The landslide hit the area around 1am, sweeping away two buses, some vehicles and about four houses. However, people residing in those houses of Kotrupi village are safe. Amid fears of landslide on the Mandi-Manali highway, the administration has diverted the traffic via Kataula-Sarkaghat. Since heavy vehicles including Volvo buses can’t ply on this route, the administration has allowed heavy vehicles to ply on the Mandi-Manali highway. However, teams of district administration will check the vulnerability of the route.

LANDSLIDES BLOCK NATIONAL HIGHWAY

Following fresh landslides at Kotrupi village in Mandi district on Monday morning, traffic on the national highway-154 was halted. Landslides also blocked Mandi’s Dwada village, a part of NH-21.

The district administration has issued fresh warning and closed the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway. The traffic on Mandi- Pathankot highway remains diverted via IIT Kamand. Traffic was also diverted through Kamand and Kataula area of Drang segment. The district administration has deployed two companies of the NDRF and a unit of the mountaineering division, Palampur of Kangra district for the rescue operations.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 12:43 IST