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8 dead, 30 missing after bus falls into Parbati river in Himachal Pradesh

 
8 dead, 30 missing after bus falls into river in Himachal Pradesh
At least eight persons died and around 30 others were reported missing after a bus carrying a group of about 57 pilgrims from Punjab plunged into the swollen Parbati river in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh yesterday afternoon, officials said.
 
Kully Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar told NetIndian over the telephone that eight bodies had been recovered so far from the swirling waters. He said the victims included two women.
 
As many as 19 persons who had suffered injuries were rescued from the scene of the accident. 
 
Mr Kanwar said that about 30 people were believed to be missing, based on the accounts given by the driver and conductor of the bus, survivors and families of people who had boarded the bus. He said efforts were being made to ascertain the number of people who were on board the bus.
 
The bus was on its way from Bhuntar in  Barnala district of Punjab to the Manikaran gurdwara in Himachal Pradesh when the mishap occurred around 3.30 pm yesterday between Sarasari village and Chhor Nullah in Kullu, about 16 km from the district headquarters.
 
Mr Kanwar said the fact that the river was swollen and heavy rains last night in the upstream areas had hampered the rescue efforts.
 
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Five teams of rafters had been deployed to look for the missing people and personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were due to reach the scene later today. Personnel from the district police, the home guards, fire brigade and para-military forces have joined the search and rescue efforts.
 
Authorities at two dams downstream, including the Larji dam about 15 km downstream,  had also been asked to help look for the missing persons, he said. Similarly, the authorities in the adjoining district of Mandi are also involved in the search operations.
 
Mr Kanwar said the passengers on the bus belonged to the Barnala, Mansa and Bhatinda areas of Punjab.
 
NNN
 
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