Shooting Stones, Falling Boulders Hamper Rescue Operation In Kinnaur
Shimla, August 12 (TNA) With stones and boulders rolling down the steep hills, rescue teams had to stop their search operation on Thursday evening at Thach Nullah near Nigalsari in disaster struck Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur who oversaw the search and rescue operation on the spot of accident informed the media.
In the China-bordering Kinnaur, a massive landslide occurred on Wednesday at Thach Nullah killing 14 people and injuring 13, with over 16 people still missing in the huge rubbles downhill.
The Chief Minister also said that the rescue teams have recovered 14 bodies and 13 injured persons from under the debris so far and about 16 people are still believed to be buried, according to the information gathered from various agencies working on the spot.
Thakur also announced a financial compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured besides giving free medical treatment. Besides this, the transport department will also give Rs one lakh each to the kins of the deceased passengers travelling in the bus
With the second day of search operation over, there are bleak chances of any person’s survival huge in the rock and soil deposits on the spot, Thakur added. The Chief Minister also met the injured people at Bhavanagar hospital besides consoling the kith and kin of those dead and missing persons.
The rescue teams primarily ITBP, NDRF and local police are doing their search job on the spot whenever sliding rocks give them a chance. The raging mountains of the Kinnaur Himalayas are shooting stones and rolling boulders, hampering the rescue and search operations on the spot of the incident.
“We will take one or two more days to find the bodies as machines cannot move on the steep slopes and it’s very difficult to run the retrieving exercise amid rolling rocks from the uphill,” said ITBP commandant Sunil Kandpal on the site.
The NDRF have deployed a 60 person team on the spot, doing a shoveling and search operation to retrieve the bodies soon, said Inspector Hari Om of NDRF.
About half a dozen vehicles including a bus were buried in the landslide yesterday with about 50 persons feared trapped underground. Now the revised government estimate believes about 43 people were trapped in the tragedy with 13 survivors retrieved and 14 bodies recovered.
Monsoon rains are wreaking havoc in Himachal Pradesh this year, killing 250 people and 503 animals and damaging properties worth Rs 785 crores till now.
- Nagender Ranta/Shimla