New Delhi: Two persons were killed and more than 40 people are feared buried under the debris caused due to a major landslide on National Highway 5 in Himachal Pradesh's remote Kinnaur district on Wednesday (August 11). Several vehicles, including a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus carrying over 40 passengers, are buried under the debris.
A police official told PTI that a state roadway bus and several vehicles were buried in the landslide that occurred over on a larger stretch on the highway near Nigulsari, 61 km from Reckong Peo, the district headquarters of Kinnaur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Himachal CM Jairam Thakur over the incident. "PM @narendramodi spoke to Himachal Pradesh CM @jairamthakurbjp regarding the situation in the wake of the landslide in Kinnaur. PM assured all possible support in the ongoing rescue operations," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also dialled Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur and took stock of the situation arising due to a landslide. Shah spoke to the CM Thakur to inquire about the landslide in the state, an official from the ministry said. He assured him of all possible help from the central government to deal with the situation. The Home Minister also directed the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to provide all assistance to the Himachal Pradesh government in rescue and relief operations.
CM Thakur told the assembly that a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus and several other vehicles were buried under the debris. He said the driver and the conductor were rescued with injuries and were not in a position to tell the exact number of the passengers who were on the bus.
Kinnar deputy commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq said heavy machinery was being mobilised but would take time to reach the spot. Kinnaur MLA Jagat Singh Negi said rescue teams comprising ITBP personnel, police and home guards have reached the spot.
The accident took place 210 kilometres from the state capital Shimla and 60 kilometres from the district headquarters Reckong Peo on National Highway 5. Earlier, nine people were killed after a tourist vehicle was hit by a landslide at Batseri in Kinnaur on July 25.