Seven dead, over 20 missing in Himachal landslide

Officials carry out rescue work after the landslide in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday morning

Officials carry out rescue work after the landslide in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday morning

The landslide that occurred early Sunday in Urla village in Himachal Pradesh state buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars, said district official Sandeep Kadam.

Kadam added: "The rain has hampered the rescue operations which is making it tough for the police and home guard".

So far, 10 bodies have been recovered from the debris. Teams from the Army and the National Disaster Response Force have been called in and have been working on rescuing those still trapped since 2 am on Sunday, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the deaths that occurred due to a landslide in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district. "Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP's Mandi district".

A stretch of the National Highway 21, that passes through Mandi, has been closed fearing more landslides.

One of the state roadways bus was hit by the landslide debris and skidded off the road, falling down by nearly a kilometre.

The bus from Chamba to Manali, carrying the maximum number of passengers, is yet to be retrieved from a mound of mud and boulders. One of the buses was going from Manali to Katra and another from Manali to Chamba.

Himachal Transport Minister GS Bali said that at least 50 are feared to have washed away.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh left from Shimla by road as bad weather did not permit him to take the aerial route to Mandi. "The relief announcement will be done by the Government as per the schedule", Singh told ANI.

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