Rescue operation on to trace out missing 28 pilgrims in Parbati River

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    By:Mohan Lal Verma

    The district administration of Kullu launched rescue operations to find out bodies of missing 28 pilgrims in Parbati river near Bhuntar after a bus that was carrying nearly 55 passengers skid down into the river last evening near Sarsari, which was on its way to Manikaran Sikh, a pilgrimage center in Himachal.

    Mr Rakesh Kanwar, Deputy Commissioner told Himvani that rescue operations have already started and divers of Bhakhara Beas Management Board (BBMB), jawans of Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Seama Surakash Bal (SSB) have been deployed to fish out the missing bodies from untraceable bus wreckage and from the silted and turbulent water.

    Mr. Kanwar also said that seven bodies have been evacuated from the river and twenty-one have been found injured. The victims belong to Mansa; Barnala and Bhatinda districts of Punjab and out of all five critical have already been rushed to PGI Chandigarh.

    But the rescue operations had to be stopped last night, as it was not possible to venture into the river to fish out more bodies, as chances of survival of the missing are very bleak. The river remains in spate during monsoon season and it was not possible to dive inside due to its strong current.

    The administration fears that some bodies might have flown down stream and might have got trapped in boulders along bottom of the river, but it is still hopeful to find few more bodies today.