Water level to be lowered to locate bodies

Water level to be lowered to locate bodies

After the fifth day of search for the bodies of 16 missing students and a tour guide who were washed away by the Beas river proved to be unsuccessful on Friday, the water level will be lowered to facilitate a renewed search on Saturday morning.

Over 550 rescue workers will continue with the massive search operation. So far, eight bodies have been recovered, most of which were either trapped underneath rocks or lay in the silt on the river bed.

“The water level in the three-km river stretch will be minimised for almost an hour by controlling inflow,” Deputy Commissioner Devesh Kumar said.

He said the outflow from the Larji and Parvati hydropower projects, located in the vicinity of the river, would be drastically reduced for at least one hour from 7 am.
“During this period, our emphasis would be to scan the entire river bed across three kilometres,” he added.

Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said: “Maximum number of bodies have been recovered from this three-km stretch, close to the disaster spot. We are hopeful of locating more bodies in this stretch.”

“An echo sounder, an instrument that sends out an acoustic pulse in water and measures distances in terms of the time taken for the echo of the pulse to return, would be deployed in a day or two to locate the missing students,” he added.

An unmanned aerial vehicle has also been deployed by the NDRF to locate the bodies. A total of 20 divers from the NDRF and 18 from the Army are involved in the search operation. The Navy and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police are also providing assistance.

The tragedy occurred when a group of students from an engineering college in Hyderabad was swept away on Sunday evening when water was released into the river without any warning.

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