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Massive landslide sweeps away two buses, up to 50 feared dead, India

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A massive landslide caused by heavy rain swept away two buses and several vehicles in Kotrupi on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway near Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, India around 01:30 IST Sunday, August 13, 2017 (20:00 UTC, August 12). There were up to 60 people on the buses. 15 bodies have been recovered but authorities fear the death toll might rise to 50.

Two State Transport buses and some light vehicles have been buried under the huge debris that had come down while the vehicles were halting for a rest at a place called Urla-Jogindernagar, according to The Hindu.

News agency PTI said the two buses were swept away from the road for almost 800 meters (0.5 miles) down into a gorge and there was no trace of one of the buses which was completely buried under the debris.

According to eye witnesses, an entire portion of a big hill caved down for more than 100 meters (328 feet), and around 1 km (0.6 miles) of road has been washed away.

The two HRTC buses buried under the muck were going from Manali to Chamba and Manali to Katra, said G.S. Bali, State Transport Minister.

As of early Sunday morning, 15 bodies have been recovered, including the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot bus Chanden Sharma and Satpal.

Minister Bali said the death toll might rise to 50.

The Army and NDRF teams have reached the spot and rescue operations are underway since about 02:00 IST. More than a hundred army personnel of 9 Grenadier have reached from Palampur.

Featured image: Landslide sweeps away two buses, up to 50 feared dead, Himachal Pradesh, India – August 13, 2017. Credit: ANI

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