24 city engineering students washed away in beas river
24 city engineering college students from Hyderabad are feared to have been washed away in the Beas river near Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. Six of them are girls.
The incident occurred at around 6 pm when the students, who were on their way to the resort town of Manali for an excursion, were clicking pictures on the banks of the river. A sudden release from the reservoir of the Larji dam led to a surge in the water level in the river which is feared to have swept away the students.
The missing students are part of a 46-member sightseeing group from the VNR Vignan Jyothi Engineering College. The group’s tour manager and faculty member Kiran is also missing.
Angry locals blocked the Manali-Kiratpur Highway, saying authorities had failed to issue a warning about the release of water from the dam.
Search operations to trace the missing students have been hampered by darkness and strong river currents.
“Impossible to do search operations as water flow is massive at the moment… Investigations will be carried out,” Ram Swaroop Sharma, the MP from Mandi, told NDTV.
“I have instructed the authorities to despatch a rescue team for immediate action and save precious lives trapped in the floods (sic),” Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock and deep anguish over the incident. He has rushed a team, headed by the Home Minister, to Himachal Pradesh to take stock of the situation.