There was no alert, insist survivors

There was no alert, insist survivors

The tragic incident, in which 24 students were killed, took place near Thalaut village between Kullu and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Thousands of cusecs of water was released without any alert from the state-owned Larji Hydel Project, around 2 km from the site where students got down for clicking pictures.

It was around 6:30 pm on Sunday when the students were returning from Shimla and decided to go into the Beas river for fun. They were on a tour to the hill state. 

Kiran, a faculty member of the institute, said the students were clicking pictures along the riverbank when suddenly the water started to swell and rose like a wall. He maintained that no alert was heard and that students had little time to get away from the surging water that swept them downstream. 

Twenty-year-old Raman Teja, one of the survivors, said around 35 students were there, some too close to the water, when suddenly one of the onlookers shouted, alerting them of the surging waters. But his voice was too faint to be heard. Some students, he said, managed to run away while others got washed away.

Officials said the delay in the rescue operations, which, perhaps, could have saved lives, was because some agitating villagers had blocked the Kullu-Manali highway.

The chief minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident. Three persons, including the resident engineer of the  project M S Dadwalia, have been suspended pending an inquiry.   

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