Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Kullu bus accident: Three more bodies recovered

Three bodies, including those of a child and a woman, were today recovered from separate places in Mandi district. One of the bodies has been identified, while the other two are believed to be of Punjab pilgrims who went missing after their Manikaran-bound bus plunged into the Parbati river at Sarsari on the Bhuntar-Manikarn road in Kullu district on July 23.

Eight persons were killed on the spot while bodies of seven others were later recovered from the Beas by search teams pressed into service by the district administration. However, 31 persons who went missing were feared to be washed away. At least 23 persons were injured in the mishap. The ill-fated private bus was reportedly carrying 69 pilgrims from Mansa, Bhatinda and Barnala districts of Punjab.

The search teams today recovered two bodies, including a child, from the Beas near Pandoh dam, about 50 km downstream from the accident site. The body of a female, reportedly of a pilgrim from the bus mishap, was retrieved further downstream from the Beas near Dharampur, 80 km from Mandi district headquarters.

The body of the child has been identified by his relatives at Kullu hospital. The other two bodies have not yet been identified.

Rajinder Singh Gill, a member of the Kullu Kar Seva, said the relatives camping here from Pakhokalan village of Barnala district had identified the body to be of one missing pilgrim Nacchater Singh, son of Dara Singh. However, his son had been called to confirm the same. br>
Gill said photos of another body recovered near Dharampur bore resemblance to a missing pilgrim Amarjeet Kaur, wife of Gurjeet Singh of Jagaramtirth village of Bhatinda district.br>
A police official at the Dharampur police station said the body of a woman of around 30 years of age had been recovered from the Beas and it had been sent to Sarkaghat hospital for the post-mortem examination.br>
Nearly 600 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Home Guards, police and a 12-member team of the Indian Navy were pressed into search and rescue operation. However, due to persistent rain in the valley, rivers and rivulets remained flooded, hampering the search operations. The floodgates of the Larji and Pandoh dams were also opened after increase in water level due to which the bodies might have washed away further downstream. br>
So far the death toll in the mishap had risen to 16. Meanwhile, the relatives of the missing persons were still camping at Kullu in a hope to trace the mortal remains of their loved ones to perform the last rites. Kullu Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said the search for missing persons would continue till September end with nearly 160 personnel of the NDRF, the SSB, the ITBP, Home Guards and state police and re-enforcements could be sighted later on if required.br>
Tuesday 11 August 2015br>


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