At least 46 people killed and several others injured after a massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadways buses at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi Pathankot national highway on Sunday.
The land slide which was caused by a cloud burst buried around 50 passengers who were travelling in the two Himachal roadways buses.
According to the reports, some other vehicles may also have hit by the landslide as rescue operations were suspended till tomorrow due to the unfavourable condition.
“46 bodies recovered, rescue ops is suspended for the day. Tomorrow we will search for bodies under debris again,” Ashok Kumar, SP Mandi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his grief and said he is pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents.
“Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP’s Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased, PMO India tweeted PM Modi as saying.
Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP’s Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2017
The Indian Army, teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and local police reached the spot with heavy earth-moving machinery where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh also visited the spot to take note of the rescue operations where the landslide occurred.
He said that eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra Volovo bus, of whom three lost their lives, while five were rescued and taken to the zonal hospital in Mandi.
He also announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each for next of kin of the deceased.
“We will provide money to make houses to people. Rescue ops to continue till the last body is found,” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said.
We will provide money to make houses to people. Rescue ops to continue till the last body is found: Virbhadra Singh, CM Himachal Pradesh pic.twitter.com/GqKkRNxcx4— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2017
Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport Minister G S Bali and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma also reached the spot.
Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC.
The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides, officials said.