North Sikkim: 22 bus passengers missing
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Last Updated: Monday, September 19, 2011, 21:52
Gangtok: Twenty-two people, travelling in a bus, went missing since last evening in North Sikkim where the epicentre of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake lay.

They were believed to be travelling in a GREF bus which is still to be traced by the rescue teams.

A spokesman of the 17 Mountain Division said the army was still not able to find the missing bus which could be anywhere between a radius of 10 and 15 km along Mangan and Chungthang in North Sikkim.

The official death toll in the North district now stands at 24 excluding the 22 in the missing bus.

The road from Gangtok to Mangan the North district headquarters has been opened for the time being with rescue operations in full swing.

Meanwhile a total of 100 families were rescued and evacuated to safer locations in the West district by the district administration and local people. All the families have been shifted to safer locations.

With four deaths in the district, the number of the injured in the district has exceeded 120.

The army rescue team has still not been able to make their way into the district because of the district highway giving way at many locations.

However, District Collector, West, Santa Pradhan says that the roads to Geyzing which is the West district headquarters will be open by tonight.

In the West district apart from the casualties, two major monasteries Pemayangtse and Tashiding Monastery built in the late 1700s have been damaged.

These monasteries have historical significance for mainly the Buddhists. Ancient stupas in the monastery complex have also been destroyed in the earthquake.

School buildings in the district have also been abandoned along with many government office buildings in the district.


First Published: Monday, September 19, 2011, 21:52

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