Bodies of five Hyd students retrieved

Bodies of five Hyd students retrieved

Rescue operations launched early on Monday by multiple agencies were called off after the bodies of five engineering students were pulled out of the swirling waters of the river Beas.

Twenty-four students of a Hyderabad-based private engineering college were washed away in the Beas on Sunday evening. Rescue personnel scanned a 20-km downstream stretch of the river in search of the missing students throughout the day. 
Even as rescue operations will resume early on Tuesday, the tragic mishap has exposed the callousness in the implementation of standard operating procedures for safety.

While Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who visited the site on Monday, maintained that an alert in the form of a hooter was blown before the water was released from the dam, eyewitnesses and survivors said the tragedy perhaps could have been averted or at least minimised, had there been adequate mechanisms in place to alert people. 

Singh, in fact, said the students should not have entered the water in the first place and teachers accompanying them should have ensured it. 

Sources said water is released from the dam every time the reservoir is filled to the brim. Due to melting glaciers, the reservoir of the dam had excess water which was released “without any alert”.

Relief and rescue teams reached an hour late, which is why the operation to save students could not begin on Sunday. Soon after the tragedy, it turned pitch dark as there were no floodlights along the riverbank, close to the hydel project. 

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