Shooting stones continue to obstruct rescue operations
Shimla | TNR
The death toll in the Nyugalseri landslide, in the Kinnaur district, rose to 15 as rescue team members recovered five more bodies.
However, 16 people are still reported missing even after 35 hours of rescue operations. Army personnel involved in the operations had discovered the HRTC bus which had plunged down 100 metres from the national highway into quicksand near the flowing Sutlej river, on Thursday.
Shooting stones hampering rescue operations
Rescue operations had to be halted twice on account of a continuous shower of shooting stones. Earlier, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had visited the spot of the disaster and had issued orders for adequate rehabilitation and treatment of those injured in the accident. He had also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakhs for family members of the deceased as well as Rs 50,000 for those injured seriously. The government will pay Rs 4 lakhs for the deceased while Rs 1 lakh will be paid by the HRTC. Orders for free treatment for the injured have also been announced. Residents of the area are also participating in the rescue operations actively.
NDRF hands over bodies to kin
According to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, the bodies of Bhupinder Singh of Kafaur village, Lakshman Thapa of Nepal and Hukum Ram from Nirmand were recovered and handed over to their respective families after postmortem. The body of Hukum Ram was unrecognizable and in bad shape as only his headless torso was recovered.
Assembly discussed ex-gratia payment
The issue of ex-gratia payment was also taken up in the state Assembly. Members observed silence as a mark of respect to the deceased.
President condoles deaths
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed sorrow at the Nyugalseri incident. He conveyed his condolences on a phone call with Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar and noted all details. He expressed his sympathies towards the families of the deceased.