Shimla: Around 30 people are still missing and 3 people have died after a massive landslide hit the Himachal Pradesh region of Kinnaur today, burying several vehicles under debris. After the landslide blocked the Reckong Peo-Shimla highway, a state-run bus, a truck, and a few cars got trapped. The bus travelling to Shimla reportedly held 40 passengers on board.
An official told Reuters that about 25-30 people are trapped or buried. Ten people were rescued and are in hospitals. Boulders and rocks can be seen rolling downhill with a roar before crashing into highway vehicles.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) sent about 200 troops to help with the rescue effort. ‘We expect the rescue operations to continue through the night, if not longer,’ ITBP spokesman Vivek Pandey said. ‘The area is currently very dangerous,’ he added.
According to CM Jai Ram Thakur, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been called in. ‘I’ve directed the police and the local administration to carry out rescue operations. We have received information that one bus and a car could have been hit. We are waiting for detailed information,’ Mr. Thakur said.
Both Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured Mr. Thakur of all possible support, as per the government.
Heavy, incessant rain, over the past few weeks, has caused many landslides in parts of Himachal Pradesh.
A month ago, nine tourists were killed by a boulder falling onto their cars in Kinnaur. An online video showed boulders tumbling downhill and smashing into a bridge. Many such videos have emerged from the state this season in addition to flash floods and cloudburst videos. Another incident involved a stretch of road collapsing during a landslide at Sirmaur after two days of incessant rain.