Himachal Pradesh: 46 killed, several injured in landslide on Mandi–Pathankot national highway
Vehicles were also hit by the mudslide, which was triggered by a cloud burst, said unidentified officials.
At least 46 people were killed and several others injured after a massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadway buses at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi–Pathankot national highway on Sunday. “We have recovered 46 bodies,” Mandi Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar told ANI. “We will search for more bodies buried under the debris on Monday.”
At least 23 bodies of the 46 deceased have been identified, Hindustan Times reported on Monday. Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, the Army, the Himachal Pradesh police, the fire brigade and home guard were involved in the search operation. Several local volunteers assisted the rescue teams in the operation.
“The search will continue until we scan the entire debris,” Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam told the English newspaper.
The toll is expected to rise as more than 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses. Some other vehicles were also hit by the landslide, which was triggered by a cloud burst, unidentified officials told PTI.
On Sunday, National Disaster Response Force personnel, the Army and the police were involved in the rescue operation. They managed to pull out five people from the two buses, which lay buried under debris, and took them to the zonal hospital at Mandi, reported the Hindustan Times.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the spot later in the day, and said the rescue operation would continue till the last body was recovered. State Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, while Transport Minister GS Bali said Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, offered his condolences. “Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP’s Mandi district,” he said on Twitter. “My condolences with the families of the deceased. I pray for the quick recovery of those injured.”