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Himachal: 24 engineering students from Hyderabad feared drowned in river Beas

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Himachal: 24 engineering students from Hyderabad feared drowned in river Beas

It would break anyone 's heart reading such news; There are absolutely no safety precautions in India. No one cares. This new found adventure among the kids leaves many a family heart broken.

On an excursion trip to Himachal Pradesh, 24 students from Hyderabad are feared to have been washed away by the Beas on Sunday after a hydropower plant allegedly discharged water into the river without any warning, triggering protests by local residents.

The incident took place in Thalaut on Manali-Kiratpur Highway, 40km from district headquarters Mandi. A massive search operation was launched to track the students, but there was no success due to darkness.

Six girls are among the missing, many of whom are in their late teens.

It is learnt that altogether 38 students from VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, were on the riverbank when the water level rose after discharge from a reservoir of the 126 MW Larji hydel power project around 2km away.

"The students had stopped to take photographs on the edge of the Beas at 7.30pm when water released from a dam washed them downstream," Himachal Pradesh transport minister GS Bali said.

The students were travelling to the resort town of Manali further north.

Enraged residents of Thalaut and surrounding areas blocked the national highway after the incident, accusing the hydropower project authority of releasing the water without warning.

Rescue workers using torches in the dark were attempting to find the students in Kullu Valley, some 200km north of state capital Shimla, Bali said.

The services of divers have been requisitioned for rescue efforts.

People living along the two sides of the riverbank downstream of the dam were alerted to inform the police about any person sighted by them.

The incident sent shock waves, and parents and friends of the missing students made frantic calls to know about their whereabouts.

As time elapsed and rescue efforts continued without success, fears rose that some of the students might have drowned.

"I am deeply pained over the tragic incident of engineering students getting drowned in a flash flood in Himachal Pradesh," home minister Rajnath Singh said on his official Twitter account.

Himachal: 24 engineering students from Hyderabad feared drowned in river Beas - Hindustan Times
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