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Eight dead, several trapped as landslide hits two buses in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

At least eight persons died and several more people were feared trapped under tonnes of mud and debris after a massive landslide swept away two buses, a car and a motorcycle in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh late last night, official sources said.
 
"We have recovered eight bodies so far. We are searching for the others," Mandi Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene.
 
Mr. Kadam said five persons had so far been rescued alive from the scene and taken to a nearby hospital, from where two had been referred to the Government hospital in state capital Shimla. One person was admitted to the Mandi government hospital while two were discharged after first aid.
 
He said there was no clarity yet on the number of people who were travelling in the two buses when the tragedy struck a little past midnight last night near Joginder Nagar in the Kotrupi area of the district. 
 
District officials, police, fire brigade and other emergency services personnel, including teams from the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), were engaged in the search and rescue efforts.
 
Mr. Kadam said tonnes of mud came sliding down onto a 150-metre stretch of National Highway (NH)-21 between Pathankot and Mandi, sweeping everything in its path. Traffic on the highway has been stopped as the rescue operations continued.
 
One bus was on its way from Chamba to Manali, while the other was on its way from Manali to Katra when the mishap occurred. Both buses belonged to the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation.
 
The deceased were identified as Suruchi Thakur, 22, Joginder Nagar; Neha, Khadun Sarkaghat; Vinod Kumar, Gumma, Padhar (who were travelling on the Manali-Katra bus); Suresh Kumar, Sadar; Babu Ram, Udhampur; Khub Ram, Kullu; Pawan Kumar, Manali; and Kartar Chand, Thara Baijnath (who were travelling on the Chamba-Manali bus).
 
The injured were identified as Manju, 20, Karsog; Beauty Sharma, 18, Shimla (both referred to Shimla); Shubham, 21, Shimla (admitted in Mandi); Suchitra, 19, Shimla; and Anita, 23, Joginder Nagar (both discharged).
 
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