New Delhi: At least 13 people were killed and several others are feared trapped under debris following a landslide in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Thursday (August 12, 2021) said, “The number of dead bodies recovered from the landslide site of Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh rises to 13 after the retrieval of another body.”

A state disaster management official, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said that the search and rescue operation for the Kinnaur landslide victims trapped in a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus and a Bolero was resumed early on Thursday.

The rescue operation at the landslide site is being carried out jointly by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the members of local police and home guards, Mokhta added. The rescue operations were suspended late at night on Wednesday and resumed back on at 6 am on Thursday. 

The officials also said that an HRTC bus, which had been on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar via Shimla, was hit by the boulders after Wednesday landslide around noon near Chaura village on national highway number five in Nigulsari area of Nichar tehsil.

During Wednesday’s rescue operations, eight of the dead were found trapped in a Tata Sumo taxi. Additionally, another body of a truck driver whose vehicles rolled down towards a riverside due to shooting stones was recovered on Wednesday. A fully damaged Alto car was recovered on Wednesday but no one was found inside the car. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and assured all possible support to handle the situation. “PM assured all possible support in the ongoing rescue operations,” a tweet from PMO read.

The Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to a landslide in Himachal Pradesh. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured.

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