At least 40 persons are feared buried under the debris of a major landslide in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq said. Rescue operations are currently underway.
Sadiq told PTI that several vehicles, including a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus carrying over 40 passengers, are buried under the debris.
The Indo-Tibetan border police (ITBP) has said that the incident occurred around 12:45 pm on the Reckong Peo-Shimla highway in the Kinnaur district. The aforementioned HRCTC bus, a truck, and other vehicles are reported to have come to under the rubble.
A landslide reported on Reckong Peo- Shimla Highway in #Kinnaur District in Himachal Pradesh today at around 12.45 Hrs. One truck, a HRTC Bus and few vehicles reported came under the rubble. Many people reported trapped. ITBP teams rushed for rescue. More details awaited. pic.twitter.com/ThLYsL2cZK
— ITBP (@ITBP_official) August 11, 2021
The bus was on its way from Reckong Peo in Kinnaur to Shimla, he said. As per India Today, the landslide on National Highway 5 near Cheel Jungle has completely blocked the highway. The rescue operation is on and the bus driver has been rescued so far while 40 others are feared trapped.
The army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local rescue teams have been called in for the rescue work, the Kinnaur deputy commissioner said.
Sadiq also said shooting stones are still falling which is creating problems in carrying out the rescue operation. More details are awaited, he added.
Speaking to reporters on the landslide, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur said that police and the local administration have been directed to carry out rescue operations, while the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been put on alert.
"I have directed the police and local administration to carry out rescue operations," the chief minister told ANI. "The NDRF has also been put on alert. We have received information that one bus and a car could have been hit; we are awaiting detailed information on the matter."
I've directed police and local administration to carry out rescue operations. NDRF has also been put on alert. We have received information that one bus and a car could have been hit; awaiting detailed information: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur on Kinnaur landslide incident pic.twitter.com/GNNZsSyJnG
— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2021